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Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Number 21 $3.00 CIA, the Press and Central America Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Editorial In 1984 it is appropriate to anticipate the latest newspeak of the Reagan administration. The most significant buzzword today is "terrorism," which term has effectively replaced "communist" or "subversive" in the jargon of the guardians of national security. After six years of building a national con- sciousness attuned to the issue of terrorism, however aber- rantly defined through repetition of the word, the administra- tion is playing the final cards in its hand. On April 3, President Reagan secretly issued National Secu- rity Decision Directive 138 outlining new policies in the ad- ministration's fight against "terrorism." Details of the secret Directive were first exposed in the April 15 Los Angeles Times, although indications of its existence could be gleaned from the April 4 Washington Post report of a speech by Secretary of State George P. Shultz to the Trilateral Commission the night before. Shultz stressed the need for "preemptive actions" to stop "state-supported terrorism," and called for a "bold re- sponse" to a problem he saw exemplified by the bomb attack that killed 241 U.S. Marines at Beirut airport last October. (Predictably, he saw no need to mention the 2,000 Nicaraguans killed by the CIA's contras or the more than 30,000 Salvado- reans killed by the military dictatorship the U.S. arms and trains.) At the moment Shultz was telling his audience about the serious questions raised in a democracy responding to ter- rorism, he was fully cognizant that his boss had preempted public debate on the subject by unilaterally signing NSDD 138 earlier that day. The cynicism of this administration knows no bounds. NSDD 138 Even sketchy details of the new Directive, as described in the L.A. Times, were chilling. It approves of preemptive strikes against terrorists as well as reprisal raids. Both con- cepts, of course, are highly illegal nearly incomprehensi- ble--in the realm of domestic law enforcement. The document also approves of the creation of FBI and CIA paramilitary squads for anti-terrorism actions, and the Defense Intelligence Agency is authorized for the first time in its history to use intel- ligence agents. A Joint Special Operations Agency has been created under the Joint Chiefs of Staff to coordinate military counterterrorist units in each service. Although the Directive stops short of authorizing assassinations (purportedly banned in 1981 by Executive Order 12333), it does authorize preemp- tive and retaliatory strikes which could kill not only their targets, but innocent bystanders as well. The Directive con- tains a "dubious morality." one "senior administration offi- cial" conceded. The entire thrust of the document's discussion of "state- sponsored terrorism deals only with Warsaw Pact and other socialist nations. And state-sponsored terrorism, Shultz made clear in his speech, is "a contemporary weapon directed at America's interests, America's values, and America's allies.'' There is never any consideration of even the possibility that U.S. allies might be the perpetrators of state-sponsored ter- rorism. The bottom line was exposed by a Defense Department official who confirmed that, if all else fails, "raids can be mounted to prevent an attack by killing the would-be ter- rorists." As the L.A. Times noted, "The most significant as- pect of the administration's new tactics has been acceptance of the concept that violent preemption of a terror attack is legiti- mate. " On April 26 the administration dropped the other shoe: four bills were sent to Congress "to help detect and prosecute people involved in international terrorism." The proposed leg- islation is staggering. The Secretary of State alone is au- thorized to designate any country or group as "terrorist," a de- termination which could not then be challenged in the courts. Ten-year prison terms are prescribed for anyone who provides "any logistical, mechanical, maintenance, or similar support services" to a designated terrorist government, faction, or group. The implications, especially for the dozens of well known and completely lawful internationalist support groups in Table of Contents Editorial Accuracy in Media 24 Nicaragua Update The Times and El Salvador 4 7 Publications of Interest Sources and Methods: 39 Time and Newsweek Flim-Flam 44 Manipulation 14 Cover: Salvadoran soldier watches over election day confusion, March 1984: photo ,h 1984 by Ron Kinney, L.A. Wccklv, used with permission. C'orertA(tion tnJocnwtion Bulletin. Number 21, Spring 1984. puhlished by Covert Action Publications, Inc.. a District of C'oIumhia Nonprofit Corporation. I'.O. Box 50272, Washington, DC 20004: telephone (202) 737-5317. All rights reserved; copyright,( 1984 by Covert Action Publications, Inc. Typography he )'ocn'Tvpe. New York, NY: printing by Faculh Press, Brooklyn, NY. Washington staff: Hen Ray, William Schaap, and Louis Woll. Board of Adyiscrs: Philip Agee. Ken Lawrence. Clarence I.usane. FIsic Wilcott..Jim Wilcott. Indexed in the Alternative Prea.c /Belts: ISSN 0275-309\, Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 the U.S., are tremendous. Groups that send medical supplies to El Salvador or powdered milk to Nicaragua, for example, could and would be criminalized by the stroke of a pen. As the New York Times pointed out, this administration has frequently referred to the governments of Nicaragua, Cuba, and many others, as "terrorist." California Countdown Domestically, two upcoming events raise the spectre of even greater opportunities for state terrorism here at home. Both the Olympic games scheduled for July in Los Angeles and the Democratic National Convention scheduled for July in San Francisco have been named by federal authorities as likely targets for terrorists, requiring massive "protection." Indeed, more than 17,000 people to "protect" less than 10,000 athletes at the Olympics is so massive a program that it is sus- pect. Ironically, the primary justification given for the vast se- curity apparatus is the widely scattered sites for the Olympic villages and events. This very set-up was criticized from the start by the Soviet Olympic Committee, which objected to it precisely on such security grounds. Despite lip service given to "preventing terrorism," the government refuses to condemn, much less prohibit, the growing public campaign of a group called the Ban the Soviets Coalition, an association of 165 rabidly anti-communist organizations which have the an- nounced intention of harassing and intimidating Soviet athletes and spectators. Known terrorist groups, such as the vicious Cuban exile organization Alpha 66, are among the Coalition's members. Another much touted security nightmare is the Democratic National Convention. Federal authorities are using the conven- tion as an excuse for usurping responsibility from the Bay Area security apparatus, to the evident dismay of the local au- thorities. It is rumored that the FBI may initiate COINTEL- PRO-like provocations to justify a massive round-up of leftists, while government agents attempt to disrupt the convention with violence. Further evidence of the scope of covert government prepara- tions may be seen in the scientific evidence described to CAIB by a California official confirming that the comprehensive helicopter criss-crossing of the state, said to be connected with spraying against the Mediterranean fruit fly, is not that at all. This source told CAIB that, since only ground level spraying has long been proved to be effective against the fruit fly, the Blue Thunder-type helicopter flights were apparently designed as surveillance missions to map urban and suburban areas where "terrorists" might flee from expected round-ups. Who Really Sponsors Terrorism? The most widespread state terrorism in the world today is that of the United States' client regimes against their own people and their neighbors. In El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras the populations of those countries and of Nicaragua are being tortured and killed by the thousands with U.S.-made weapons in the hands of U.S.-trained military and paramilitary personnel. In many cases, as we are slowly discovering, the personnel are North American as well. Revelations regarding the bombing and mining of Nicaraguan ports, the reconnais- sance flights over El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the resupply missions for the contras, discussed in this issue, show the pre- sence of American operatives on the front lines. CAIB has also learned that U.S. soldiers have participated in sabotage raids over the Honduran border deep into Nicaraguan territory. If this is not state-sponsored terrorism, what is? The U.S. government has chosen to define terrorism in its own way, but its definition is Orwcllian (Ioublethink. In the same vein, the government's repetition of a thence eventually finds its way to the front pages of the nation's newspapers as fact. A case in point is the disinformation spread by the conser- vative and extreme right-wing media (and exposed in (AIB Number 19 in an article by William Preston and Ellen Ray) re- garding alleged drug trafficking by Cuba. Now the government has coined the word "narco-terrorism," attached the label to Cuba without a single iota of proof, and the story has been ac- cepted in toto by the Wall Street Journal (April 30). How the Media Cover It Therefore, this issue of CAIB deals not simply with the role and extent of U.S.-sponsored terrorism, but with the way the U.S. establishment media treat it. As is demonstrated herein, the government line on terrorism is shared, consciously or un- consciously, by most of the leading print media. We study the war against Nicaragua, the sham elections in EI Salvador, the coverage of world politics in the newsweeklics, and the opera- tion of Accuracy in Media, a massive disinformation machine in its own right. If it is true, as a current poll indicates, that a majority of the American people fear the President is getting the cotnitr into a Central American war, then this insight has been gained in spite of the major media, not because of them. ? Grenada: Nobody's Backyard Historical perspective of U.S. destabilization against Grenada during first year of revolution-events which later led to coup and invasion. A 16 mm, 60-minute color documentary film. Includes interviews with late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, former Guyanese P.M. CheddiJagan, Chilean patriot Isabel Letelier, Workers Party of,lamaica leader Trevor Munroe, and former CIA officer Philip Agee. Produced by CovertAction Information Bulletin; directed by Ellen Ray. For rental information, telephone (202) 265-3904 or (212) 254-1061, or write to P.O. Box 50272, Washington, DC 20004. Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Nicaragua Update: The War Widens By Ellen Ray and Bill Schaap The "revelations" by the U.S. media in early April that the United States is intimately involved in committing acts of war against Nicaragua demonstrate once again the schizophrenia of the U.S. Congress and the painful inability of the American people to analyze what is peddled as "news." Widespread coverage of the CIA's role in the mining of the Nicaraguan har- bors and in direct combat and resupply missions against the people of Nicaragua and El Salvador, moreover, indicates an underlying, sinister purpose in the establishment's finally al- lowing this six-months-old information to emerge. A new and frightening stage in the inevitable all-out U.S. war in Central America has been reached. It is not enough to note the staggering double standard under which the media operate. Eyewitness reports from Nicaragua and El Salvador of direct U.S. involvement in the attacks were ignored for months; then one "leak" from a congres- sional aide was instantly transformed into front-page "proof" of the same information. It is crucial, therefore, in any analysis of what the Reagan administration plans before November for Central America to examine the facts themselves and what the "revelations" really mean. Public Ignorance and Senatorial Pique Just what are the leaks intended to accomplish'? The public has already been led to believe there is a "civil war" in Nicaragua, oblivious to the fact that the contras represent noth- ing more than the U.S. dollars which created them. By the same token, congressional rage over the mining particularly in the Senate was clearly just pique over the failure of the CIA to keep them "fully" informed, rather than real anger over the substance of the activities disclosed. This was the same Senate, after all, which days before had approved $21 million for continued "covert" activities. As Nicaraguan In- terior Minister Tomas Borge asked, did they think "those mil- lions of dollars were going to be spent to plant flowers and veg- etables'?" Thus we have to question the ingenuousness of it all. The leaks could well have been premeditated, designed not to end the CIA war against Nicaragua, but to inure the American people to its expansion in the more capable hands of the Penta- gon. The War Machine It was not until the enormous and apparently irreversible war machine was firmly entrenched, U.S. troop positions in Hon- duras and the Caribbean consolidated, and direct American military participation reported and condemned outside the U.S. (even by Margaret Thatcher), that Congress and the media finally got around to letting the American people in on what the rest of the world already knew. Now it is too late. It was only on April 23 that the New York Times clearly and unequivocally summarized the buildup of American forces in the region and the probable future combat role for those same U.S. forces. (Interestingly, the Times article, by Hedrick Smith, was little more than a rewrite of one printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer more than a month earlier.) Why had there been such diversionary media discussions for more than a year, like 97 versus 55 advisers in El Salvador- piddling numbers after all-when we learn suddenly that there are 30,000 U.S. troops aboard 350 ships engaged in the most current "Ocean Venture" maneuvers'? (These maneuvers ominously mirror previous Ocean Venture exercises which led directly to the invasion of Grenada.) Is it any wonder that the American people are confused when they learn that 1,800 of the 5,000 "temporary" U.S. troops in Honduras for "exer- cises" are now permanently stationed there, servicing six U.S.-made airfields, and that the Pentagon plans to keep them there until at least 1988'? What can be surmised about the Army Rangers' plans to double in size, and the new "Granadero I" exercises in Honduras focusing on the taking of "hostile" air- ports? There are now more than 3,000 CIA personnel in Central America, supervising more than 18,000 contras and training regular Honduran and Salvadoran troops. This is a massive war machine, not a hypothetical one. It is there now, quietly put in place over the last year. American troops are flying American reconnaissance planes and helicopters in operational combat and resupply missions over Nicaragua and El Salvador. American spotter planes and radar installations direct Salvadoran troop movements. And, of course, as the New York Times finally admitted on April 18, CIA officers directed the brutal firebombings of Corinto and Puerto Sandino last October (a story CAIB reported in De- cember), and CIA officers directed the mining of those harbors in February, in flagrant violation of international law. Stories abound of American troops participating in, and being killed in, resupply missions to the contras and sabotage raids deep into Nicaragua. What follows is a short summary of the events of March and April in the CIA war. ? March 12: The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Army pilots were flying OV-I reconnaissance missions over FMLN controlled areas in El Salvador to spot guerrilla units for the Salvadoran Army. ? March 24 (but not reported until April 8 and weeks fol- lowing): La Prensa Libre of Costa Rica reported that a DC-3 plane which was supplying arms to contras in Costa Rica crashed into a mountain near Las Delicias, about 100 kilomet- ers from San Jose. The paper reported that eyewitnesses saw armed men take seven bodies from the wreckage, two of which they doused with gasoline and burned. Papers and other docu- ments were also burned and other bodies were taken away from the scene of the crash. Four of the seven dead men were said to Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 have been North Americans. The London Observer, referring to the incident as a "vast CIA cover-up operation," later re- ported that the four Americans were CIA contract agents. ? April 7: The Washington Post announced the CIA's direct role in the mining of Nicaragua's harbors, which they said had begun two months before. ? April f;: The London Sunday Times reported that ARDE was receiving CIA supplies through the commercial airport at David, Panama, near the Costa Rican border. It also reported that ARDE operations are supervised by CIA personnel from the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, including a political officer, a military attache, and a Costa Rican employee, who all meet frequently with ARDE leaders. ? April 1 I: The material and human damages done in Nicaragua at the hands of the CIA and their contras were de- nounced in the International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Nicaraguan complaint filed against the United States. Since 1980, 2,000 Nicaraguans have been murdered by Somocistas and other contras based in Honduras and Costa Rica. Material losses, including the destruction of bridges, crops, oil pipelines, roads, and factories, are valued at over $200 mil- lion. ? April 12: La Vo: tit, Nicaragua carried a report by the Nicaraguan naval chief that the U.S. frigate Gallery remained forty miles off the Pacific coast. This was the ship suspected of being the ''mother ship" of the mining operations. The Nica- raguan official said that eight soldiers had been injured in the minesweeping operations which had, at that time, found and exploded 28 mines. ? April 12, 13, 14: La Vo: tit, Nicaragua reported that con- tras on the Costa Rican border were being supplied by helicop- ter and plane from within Costa Rica. It later reported that Costa Rican authorities were investigating the existence of a contra airport in the province of Guanaste: a secret contra hos- pital was also under investigation. It was also reported by La Vo: (it, Nicaragua that a U.S. warship with a crew of 200 was at the Costa Rican port of Limon just before the launching of the ARDE attack on the Nicaraguan border town of San Juan del Norte. ? April 14: According to the Washington Post the Reagan administration told Congress that the minim was a "justifiable use of collective self-defense sanctioned by the U.N. chatter.'' Virtually all legal experts disagreed with this assertion ? April 22: The Neu' York Tinu'.s reported that the ('I1 s',as blackmailing Eclcn Pastora by threatening to ssithhold aid if his contras did not capture a Nicaraguan port and set up a prosi- sional government, presumably so the U.S. could rccoeniie the Quislings and invade at their request. It was also reported that the CIA was demanding that ARDI-: unify under a joint command with the FDN, which has Sonroci.sta leadership. Sev- eral reports noted that Pastora's forces had ahrady rcccired hundreds of thousands of dollars (delivere(l by passengers al- riving in San Jose on weekly commercial flights from Miami) from the CIA as well as military equipment sshich was being airlifted by DC-3s like the plane that crashed on March 24 l'he New York Times also reported that Costa Rican officials claim that ARDE has "penetrated" high levels of the goycrnntent, bribing public officials with their ('IA cash. Who Is Running the Show? What is unusual in this war is the high degree of ('lA Prnta gon coordination, and even more unusual, the CIA's predo- minant role. At this stage it is still basically an intelligence war. Many of the regular troops in Honduras arc front Military Intelligence. Several hundred operate the two large U.S.-built radar installations: six hundred soldiers from the 2224th M.I. Battalion based at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, (icorzia, now assigned to Palmerola, Honduras, fly reconnaissance mis- sions over EI Salvador. There are at least I51) Marines and I00 Army Special Forces troops training the Salvadoran Arnty butchers in Honduras to circumvent time congressionally im- posed limitations in Fl Salvador. One of the only differences in this war compared to the early Vietnam War is that there is apparently no "liberal'' anti syar wing of the CIA under Director William Casey. In Vietnam, some CIA analysts were in favor of discngagcntenl because of their realistic assessment that the U.S. could not win a guerrilla war there. Here, the CIA is taking a syarlike stance on all is sues, including political ones like its veto of Nicarautta's ambassador-elect, over the objections of Secretary of State Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 George Shultz. Indeed the press has been almost gleeful about the way Casey pushes Shultz around, featuring Op Ed pieces on how well the CIA is managing its war. The commentators are split. William Safire (New York Times, April 23) calls for 1 'a new brazenness." He says the CIA should run its covert wars more openly, with "unofficial" press secretaries back- grounding the press on the latest war news. CIA veteran Harry Rositzke (Washington Post, April 15) says the Pentagon should wage both open and covert wars, in the "American tradition" of military intervention, War Plans Casey has been candid in his assessment that the contras cannot win a war against the Sandinistas, telling U.S. News and World Report that "there's no chance that they [the con- tras] will be able to overthrow the Government. .. . They can't go into the cities." Because of the congressional prohibi- tion against the use of funds to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, Casey's insistence, then, that it would only be a "long shot" to expect the Nicaraguan population to rise up and overthrow the Sandinistas only underscores the U.S. govern- ment's intentions to use U.S. combat troops in the final analy- sis. Though administration officials have claimed repeatedly that there are no plans whatsoever to invade Nicaragua, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger made this disclaimer on the same TV show on which he stated, "the United States is not mining the harbors of Nicaragua.'' In the past, these denials led to speculation about a potential role for the Central Ameri- can Defense Council, CONDECA, reestablished last year on U.S. demand after a decade of dormancy, with troops from Honduras. Guatemala, and El Salvador. But it has become in- creasingly clear that these troops cannot even work together, much less wage a major proxy war for the United States. One of the reasons former Defense Minister Garcia Alvarez of Hon- duras was ousted was his enthusiastic support for the U.S. training of Salvadoran troops in Honduras. In any event, denials of U.S. invasion plans have come under further scrutiny, and reports like the April 23 Times study confirm that the Pentagon is "in a position to assume a combat role in Central America should President Reagan give the order." Despite Weinberger's denials, "other high-ranking Pentagon officials" confided that the Defense Department is already "drafting contingency plans for possible use of combat troops." The U.S. combat role is envisioned "if leftist forces cannot be defeated any other way.'' And when this language is contrasted with Casey's low opinion of the contras, the import is obvious. that he believes, "if push comes to shove in Central America he'll just go on television with his charts and pictures and have them eating out of his hand." Casey is even more offhand. He believes the American people care more about the possibility of a wave of immigrants from Central America than they do about the CIA's mining harbors. To bolster the shopworn arguments about Nicaraguan aid to the FMLN and to divert attention from the mining allegations, several unsubstantiated and unattributed stories were leaked by the CIA. In the April 22 New York Times, a brief article head- lined "Radio Link for Latin Leftists" contained assertions from unnamed "government officials" that interception of coded radio traffic between Nicaragua and El Salvador "proved" that the Sandinistas were helping the Salvadoreans. No examples and no explanations were given, because to do so would "permit the two sides to alter their communication tech- niques." Two days later the Times ran another piece in which ''senior officials" cited "intelligence information indicating that Cuba is preparing a large increase in aid to Salvadoran guerrillas to lay the groundwork for a fall offensive." This questionable piece of "intelligence" was said to have cone from "a reliable Cuban source." We can only assume that there will be increasing amounts of disinformation in the months to come. A U.S. provocation on the scale of the Gulf of Tonkin incident is also a frightening and realistic possibility. The Rationale The Reagan administration continues, in the face of over- whelming evidence to the contrary, to insist that the purpose of its war against Nicaragua is interdicting the flow of supplies to the FMLN in El Salvador. Recently, Congress has been less impressed by this absurd argument, so administration officials decided that President Reagan should "go over the heads of Congress, to the people, to lay out the situation and persuade them that there is an important middle ground between total war and total peace'' (Neer York Tunes, April 20), an astonish- ing assumption that there is something wrong with total peace. Apparently officials have decided that it is easier to lie to the people than to Congress. A Republican Senator, David Durenberger of Minnesota, is quoted as saying about Reagan Conclusion Indeed, the months to come are what this is all about. Most observers are convinced that the administration will be deterred from acting rashly before the November presidential elections. This is by no means a sure thing. War fever is potent political medicine for a lagging Republican presidential campaign, and this country hesitates to change parties at the outset of a war. Since the U.S. is clearly prepared to fight a war in Central America; since the administration seems sure that its ultimate goal of overthrowing the Sandinista government cannot be ob- tained by proxies; and since that goal appears inflexible: we cannot rule out the possibility of an open U.S. invasion of Nicaragua a month or two hcJure the election. ? Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 "Objective" News as Systematic Propaganda: The New York Times on the 1984 Salvadoran and Nicaraguan Elections By Edward S. Herman* The U.S. mass media present a diverse picture in their re- porting on Central America, ranging from the almost pure dis- semination of the administration's line in Reader's Digest, Time magazine, and many others, to a pattern of generous coverage of the official view plus occasional jarring deviations in much of the rest. The volume of reportage of negatives is substantial, reflecting the division of opinion in the country and widespread feeling that the Reagan policies are miscon- ceived. Even in the media which allow negatives, however, critical reporting on Central America is episodic, frequently hedged with qualifications, and often overwhelmed by offi- cially approved facts and interpretations. It is a notable fact, pointed out by Frank Brodhead and myself in an earlier article in this journal', that no matter how awful the savagery of our clients (or ourselves), this violence never generates reporting sufficiently intense and impassioned to move public opinion very deeply. Only system-supportive crimes or ploys produce media campaigns that cover it subject intensively, on it day-in- day-out basis, and with great indignation and calls for action. Polish martial law, Pol Pot, 007, and an alleged Bulgarian- KGB plot against the Pope can elicit such attention: Turkish martial law, 60 torture centers and 20-30,000 murders in Argentina, mass murder in Chile, Indonesia, Guatemala, and EI Salvador, do not yield sustained coverage. I would propose a "law of disproportionality" to cover this dichotomy: that crimes committed by friendly clients can exceed those carried out by enemies by an as yet unfathomed large factor without receiving comparable mass media attention or indignation. An opportunity to test media bias under excellent experi- mental conditions is provided by the juxtaposition of elections in I984 in both El Salvador and (prospectively) Nicaragua. The former is a U.S. client, and the election has been or- ganised by the United States itself to demonstrate to its home population that the Salvadoreans want us there and that its rulers are moving toward democracy. Nicaragua. by contrast, is I . Brink Brodhead and Eduard S. Herman. "The KGB Plot to Assassinate the Pope A Casc StudN in Free World Disintornation,' CAM, Numher 19, Spring-Sunnier 19113, pp. 13-24. ' Eduard S Herrman is a Professor of Finance. Wharton School, University of PennsxI%ania. Ili'. most recent hook. With Frank Brodhead, is Denum.wratioir (aertioiu_ (. S.-Srrr rd Elertioirs iii the t)ominiran Repuhlir. Vietnam and ha Salvador, South End Press. 1-chruary 1984 He Wants to express thanks to Honied Friel for his help in preparing this article. under U.S. attack and openly sponsored subversion and proxy invasion. An unbiased media would raise the same questions about both elections a biased media will differentiate accord- ing to the propaganda agenda provided by its own government. In Demonstration Fleetlon.s: U.S.-Staged L:Icetiona ill the' Dominican Republic, Vietnam and l'.l Salt-adoi, I'rank Brodhead and I spelled out the symbolic format, the suitable questions that the government wishes to advance, and the un- suitable ones that are to he avoided in its own sponsored elec- tions. It tries to associate the election with democracy: it stres- ses the rejection of this democratic exercise by the rebels and their attempts to disrupt it: and it makes voter turnout the dramatic denouement of the struggle between the forces of good and evil. The government dispatches observers to snatch the vote on election day, to testify to fairness on the basis of long lines, smiling faces, no beatings in the ohseners' pre- sence, and the assurances and enthusiasm of the II.S. and client state officials. "Off-the-agenda' are the basic param- eters that make the election nicaningful or meaningless prior to the election-day proceedings freedom of speech. assembly organization of intermediate groups: the ability of candidates to qualify and to campaign without fear of murder; and the ah- sence of state terror and a climate of fear among the public. Also off the agenda is the election day ''coercion package,.' that may explain turnout in terms other than devotion to the army and its plans, including any legal requirement to cote and explicit or implied threats for ant soling. Other issues that must be downplayed in conforming to the government propaganda format are the U.S. government role in organizing and funding the election, the internal propaganda campaign waged to get out the vote, outright fraud, and the constaints and threats to journalists covering the election. In Demonstration Llee!ftnit sse shossed that the U.S. mass media cooperated fully in portraying the I c)S2 Salvadoran elec- tion in accordance with the goyernnient's agenda. Rebel dis ruption and "turnout" reigned supreme. Almost no mention was made of it legal obligation to vote. and the hackground facts of a state of siege and over 700 civilian murders pe month for the prior 30 months were deemed not relevant to evaluating electoral conditions or turnout. The media's feat in transforming the Salvadoran "security forces,- aptly de scribed as ''a deranged killing nmchine," into "protectors of an incipient democracy" is, I hclicye, a propaganda achievement that totalitarian states might conceivahly approach, but never surpass. Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 We were also able to show that when the Soviet Union spon- sored an election in Poland in January 1947, the U.S. press re- versed the format of relevant and irrelevant facts. The very presence of large numbers of security forces was quickly found to compromise the integrity of the electoral process and ren- dered the election a farce in advance. Only the security forces of U.S. clients ''protect elections''; those of enemy states in- terfere with the freedom of its citizens to vote without con- straint. There were rebels in Poland in 1947 who attempted to disrupt the election, but the U.S. media derided the notion that this was worthy of any publicity, suggesting that it was mainly an excuse for repression. The dissident Peasant Party of Poland was harassed and its press censored, matters dealt with on a daily basis in the U.S. media. The dissident FDR of El Sal- vador was off the ballot and underground in 1982, with those of its leaders not already murdered on army death lists- but the U.S. mass media never condemned the election as a mean- ingless fraud because the principal opposition was off the bal- lot entirely. Nor did the media point out that this exclusion was by plan, to isolate the rebels and use them as a dramatic foil in the staged ceremony for public relations purposes. The media were part of the staging props, and they played their role to perfection. An ironic feature of the media treatment of Salvadoran elec- tions and their less favorable view of the prospective Nicara- guan election is that both the threat to journalist safety and vio- lations of press freedom are vastly greater in El Salvador than in Nicaragua. Over 30 journalists have been murdered in El Salvador since 1979, and four Dutch journalists were killed only I I days before the March 1982 election. The foreign press corps was trooped into a morgue by the Salvadoran army to see the bodies, with ripped genitals exposed to media view. This episode was suppressed in the U.S. mass media, led to no large outcries and generalizations about the quality of the Salvadoran government, and may have contributed to the remarkable mass media silence on unfavorable media (as well as other) condi- tions in the incipient democracy. U.S. reporters can report what they like from Nicaragua without fear of bodily harm. This is not so in El Salvador. But the media cannot admit that in our client state they must adjust reports and reporters be- cause of literal threats of death for improper thoughts. There is the public and self-image to be maintained of a crusading press Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 that pulls no punches. Furthermore, the U.S. government does not audibly object to violations of press freedom in client fas- cist states and even apologizes for literal murder and press closings. U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Deane Hinton explained to Michael Massing in 1982 that the two papers closed by security force violence (in one case including mur- der) had "advocated revolution";' a lie, but even more inter- esting as an expression of Hinton's commitment to an open so- ciety. On the other hand, we can observe the wild indignation of the Washington libertarians at encroachments on the free- dom of the press of La Prensa in Managua. The media accom- modate. And they suppress the facts about their own accom- modation to anti-journalist terrorism by "friends." The New York Times Coverage of the 1984 Elections I turn now to a comparison of the treatment of the Salvado- ran and Nicaraguan elections in news articles in the New York Times between February I and March 30, 1984. This provides an experimental universe of 28 news articles on the El Salvador election and eight on that to be held in Nicaragua (with one overlapping article, its separate parts included in each of the two sets). Obviously, this is only a small sample of the media and will support only qualified generalizations. I defend it on the grounds that: (1) the New York Times is the most important paper in the United States; (2) it and the Washington Post are the media leaders, whose choices influence those of other newspapers and TV networks, which are basically followers; and (3) the New York Times provides a fuller and more critical coverage of Central American issues than the average paper or TV news broadcast. Tables I and 2 summarize the sources used by the New York Times in its news articles on the two elections. It can be seen that for the Salvadoran election there was overwhelming re- liance on U.S. and Salvadoran officials, amounting to 80% of the source total. In 20 of the 28 articles official sources were not only dominant, they were uncontested by the use of any other cited source. Although the majority of Salvadoreans are peasants, only two of 263 identifiable sources used by the Times-under I % of the total-were peasants. The Salvadoran rebels were cited 27 times, approximately 10% of the source total. But this modest fraction grossly exaggerates the impor- tance of the rebels as a source. In the great majority of cases the rebels were asked about and quoted only on their disruption plans This is in accordance with the government's dramatic formula, which portrays the rebels as had guys refusing to par- ticipate in this step toward democracy and even threatening to upset it. The rebels were not asked about or quoted on more substantive questions, such as the reasons why free elections were unfeasible in El Salvador. They were several tines quoted as describing the election as an "electoral farce," but they were never allowed to expand on the details.' This made their words mere denunciations by the enemy, without force. The opponents of the Sandinistas, in contrast, were regularly quoted on substantive defects of the electoral plan in Nicaragua. TABLE I Sources Used by the New York Times in its News Coverage of the El Salvador Election of March 25, 1984* Source Number of Times tjsed** Percentage of Times Used U.S. Officials Direct*** 42 16.1) Indirect 66 25.1 Total lux 41.1 Salvadoran Officials Direct 5 i 2(1.2 Indirect 50 19.0 Total 103 39.2 Rebels Direct 15 5.7 Indirect 12 4,0 Total _27 I n_3 Peasants Di I 04 rect Indirect I (l.4 Total 2 0.8 Other Direct I S 6.8 Indirect 5 1() Total 23 8 7 Total 263 1011.0 *Based on a study of the 28 articles published by the V, I, )'or4 Trnnrs on )lie Salvadoran election of March 25. 1984, that appealed between I eh I and March 30, 1984. **A source is counted once for each identitiahle line of aucument, Fact, or opinion attributed to that source. ***Direct means that the source is quoted rather than paraphrased (indirect) Sources Used by the ;\'e" York lin s in its News Coverage of the Forthcoming Nicaragua Election of Novemher 1984* Source Offi U S i l Number of Times Used** Percentage of Times Used . . c a s Direct*** 14 I8 4 Indirect 8 II) 5 Total Nicaraguan Officials 22 R ') Direct 0 8 u Indirect 24 31.5 Total Nicaraguan Opposition Si i5) 5 Direct I I 8 Indirect 1'_ IS-8 Total 24 31 0 Total 76 1(10.0 *Based on a study of the eight articles published in the Ne'I% )otA Iml, s he tween Fch. I and March 30, 19S4, on the Nicaraeuan election to he hell in Novcnihcr 1984. **A source is counted once fur each identifiable line of areunient- tact- or opinion attributed to that source. ***Direct means that the source is quoted rather than paraphrased (1ndircct) 2. The quote marks are around Massing's sununary of what Hinton said to him. Michael Massing, "Central America. A Talc of Three Countries," C'ol- u,nbiu.tournulion R,?rie,r, July-August 1982, p. 51. 3. A notable exception, though not a news article, was an Op Ed column in the Viii )'wk Tinu'.s of March 22, 1984 by Guillermo lingo on "Salvador's Elec- toral Farce." On the sources used by the Tones in dealing with the pro- spective Niearag>uan election, it can he seen on Table 2 that the Sandinistas themselves accounted for only 39.5',( of the sources used; critical U.S. officials and the Nicaraguan opposi- tion to the Sandinistas accounted for 60.5`7 of the citations. The table also shows that the Sandinistas were usually used Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 only as an indirect source, by paraphrase, which reflects a less authentic, less dramatic, and often more skimpy mode of con- veying fact and opinion. Thus, whereas the U.S. sponsors and their on-the-spot managers of the Salvadoran election were given overwhelming space to define the election according to their vision, for Nicaragua both the volume and the quality of sourcing favored the critics of the election, not its organizers. Salvadoran voters being "helped" to the polls. Tables 3 and 4 summarize the topics covered in the New York Times news reports on the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan elections. It can be seen that for the El Salvador election the New York Times focused largely on the items compatible with the Reagan administration's agenda-i.e., rebel disruption, personalities and political infighting among eligible parties, election mechanics, and turnout. It is even more impressive to see the level of suppression of inconvenient items that are off the government's agenda. Note that there is no mention of fraud in the 1982 election (line 10), although there was consid- erable evidence in the spring of 1982 that there had been an in- flated vote count (election chief Bustamente had even admitted a 10% inflation),' and more recently the current head of the Central Electoral Commission, Dr. Armando Rodriguez Equizabal, acknowledged that fraud might well have affected over 25% of the 1982 ballots.' To acknowledge these claims and admissions would raise questions about the integrity of the election managers. Richard Meislin of the Times repeatedly stresses that various devices used in the election such as stamp- ing fingers and transparent voting urns were to "prevent fraud." He never once hints at the possibility that the managers may be less than honest. Suppressing counter-facts about the recent electoral past helps maintain this aura of-electoral integ- rity.' Topics Included and Excluded in the New York Times News Coverage of the El Salvador Election of March 25, 1984* Number of Articles Dealing with Topic Percentage of Articles Dealing With Topic Those Compatible With the U.S. Government's Agenda: I . Democratic purpose & hopes 6 21.4 2. Rebel disruption 15 53.6 3. Turnout 7 25.0 4. Election mechanics 9 32.1 5. Personalities & political infighting 10 35.7 6. Official reflections on the election 10 35.7 7. The army as protector of the election 5 17.9 Those Incompatible With the U.S. Government Agenda 8. The public relations purpose 3 10.7 9. U.S. investment in the election 2 7.1 10. Fraud in the 1982 election O 0 1 1 . The existence of free speech and assembly-legal state of siege 3.6 Freedom of the press 0 0 Organizational freedom O (1 Limits on the ability of candidates to quality and campaign Prior state terror and climate of fear as possible electoral negative Power of armed forces, links to candidates and parties, as possible negative factor 3.6 Legal obligation to vote 4 14.3 Legal penalties for non-voting 2 7.1 Marking of voters' fingers 3.6 Stamping identification cards 2 7.1 Legal requirement that authorities check within 10 days that voters have voted Possible non-legal threat to non-voters from death squads and security forces 0 0 The use of transparent voting urns 3.6 The legal right of the security forces to an armed presence at voting stations *Based on a study of the 28 articles on the El Salvador election that appeared in the New York Times between February I and March 30, 1984. **Lydia Chavez even made a false statement to the opposite effect-see accompanying box. The most striking fact about Table 3 is the almost total sup- pression of any discussion of the basic preconditions of a free election. It can be seen on lines I 1-15 that there is not a single mention in 28 articles of the issue of freedom of the press, free- dom of organization, or limits on the ability of candidates to qualify and campaign freely. Only one article mentions con- straints on free speech and three others hint rather gingerly at state terror as a possible negative influence on voter freedom. This suppression package is thrown into bold light by the fact that it is precisely these issues that the New York Times "news" articles feature in the coverage of Nicaragua, as can be seen on lines 4-7 of Table 4. Most dramatic is the dichotomy shown in the treatment of freedom of the press in 4. See the discussion in Demonstration Elections, pp. I30-33. 5. Julian Preston. "1982 Vote Fraud Cited by Salvadoran Officials," Boston Globe, Feb. 25, 1984. 6. Rodriguez was perhaps prepared to acknowledge fraud because Salvado- reans were widely aware that it had occurred in 1982. his admitting it showed his distance from the earlier perpetrators of fraud. For Meislin, acknowledging fraud in 1982 would only raise questions requiring painful explanation. Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan elections-the subject is not mentioned once in 28 Times articles on the El Salvador elec- tion: it is mentioned (and usually addressed in detail) in six of eight articles concerning elections in Nicaragua! As factual background for this dichotomous treatment, it should be noted that serious opponents of the Sandinistas can speak and publish in Nicaragua; no supporter of the rebels can do so in El Sal- vador, and even liberal papers seeking a middle path have been driven out of existence. Topics Included and Excluded in the New York Times Coverage of the Nicaraguan Election Planned for November 4, 1984* Those Compatible with the U.S. Government's Agenda in the El Salvador Election: (Of the 7 items in Table 3, all are blanks except one) 1. Election mechanics Number of Articles Percentage of Dealing with Topic Articles Dealing With Topic Those Incompatible with the U.S. Government Agenda in the El Salvador Election**: 2. The public relations purpose 3 37.5 3. Free speech 2 25.0 4. Freedoniof the press 6 75.0 5. Organizational freedom 4 50.0 6. Ability of candidates to qualify and run 5 62.5 7. Power of the armed forces. link to state, as negative factor *Based on a study of the eight articles on the forthcoming Nicaraguan election that appeared in the New York Tinie.s between February I and March 30, 1984. **Many of the topics listed on Table 3 under this subheading are not relevant to the Nicaraguan election all that are covered in the articles examined are listed here. It can also be seen on Table 3 that the New York Times es- sentially suppresses the election day coercion package. In only four articles does it mention the legal obligation to vote, in two the requisite stamping of the voter's identification card; but these and other elements inducing turnout are never brought to- gether and considered as a whole. In not one article is it suggested that the army-security force interest in turnout, and the army record in dealing with "subversives," might make the legal requirement to vote more compelling. In fact, on al- most every occasion where a Times reporter mentions a factor suggestive of coercion, he or she immediately puts in a little defensive answer. Thus Lydia Chavez says that, "Under the election process in El Salvador, as in some other countries, citizens are obliged to vote or pay a fine." She goes on to say, "The system of fines has long been used in El Salvador, but no one can remember anyone actually having to pay a fine for not voting." (March 13, 1984.) Notice the little defensive gesture "in some other countries," without specification, and the as- sertion that the system of fines has "long been used," which gives an aura of acceptability to the practice, especially where the author does not assess the quality of elections in the past. Note also the claim that "no one remembers" a fine being paid. Chavez does not tell us to whom she talked to reach this conclusion, but in the context one may doubt whether the sam- ple was large and random. More important, Chavez does not go beyond the fines to raise the question of security force dis- cipline as a coercive threat. Is it possible that nobody paid it fine because they were murdered? Charles Clements has tes- tified before Congress that Salvadoran Church workers told him that people unable to show evidence that they had voted have been killed.' Only once did Lydia Chavez link the re- quirement to vote with the size of the turnout: She explains the insurgents' "softer approach" to the 1984 elections by refer- ring to their awareness "of the problem of trying to persuade people not to cast ballots in a country where voting is required by law." (March 18, 1984.) The rebels may see this, but Lydia Chavez never develops this point as a possible explanation of the electoral turnout in El Salvador. While Lydia Chavez wrote apologetics, she provided occa- sional critical facts and between-the-lines hints of unpleasant but undiscussable features of the step toward democracy. Richard Meislin, the other principal Times reporter directly covering the 1984 election, provided only straight apologetics. He mentions the newspapers in EI Salvador only once in his numerous reports on the election (March 3, 1984), but only to explain their bewildering guidance to the voters and the limits of their distribution in the countryside; he never at any time suggests press constraints, any impediment to tree speech (under legal state of siege conditions), or less than democratic devotion on the part of the Salvadoran election managers or se- curity forces. He is the only Jones reporter to mention the transparent voting urns, but he states immediately thereafter that their function is to prevent fraud (March 25, 1984); he does not mention their possible incompatibility with privacy of the vote. At no point does Meislin ever suggest the possibility that the security force interest in turnout might pose any kind of coercive threat to voters. "In the last election, officials sought to assuage voters' fears that guerrillas might act against them for casting ballots." (March 25, 1984.) This is "objective" propaganda. The official view of' voters' fears is taken as cor- responding to the real fears of voters; no evidence is given that Lydia Lies "Under the country's election lays , the military is not permitted to maintain a presence at the voting booths." Lydia Chavez, New York Times, March 20, 1984, p. 8. Salvadoran Election Code: Article 89: "No armed persons will he permitted to oh- serve the election process with the exception of the meni- hers of the army and security forces entrusted with the surveillance of the process of voting.' Article 17: "One of the duties of the President of the Election Council is . . . [Article l7gl To solicit the help of the armed forces or of the security forces to keep the public order during the d- velopment of the voting process.' 7. (t S. Polii.v in El Sahador, hearings hetore the Subcommitice on Ilumul Rights and International Organization and Western Ilcntisphcric Al l iii . li S House of Representatives. 98th ('ongicss. Ist Session. Match 17. 1981, p 620. Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Meislin actually attempted to confirm the source of voters' fears. Meislin does find some electoral fraud in the Salvadoran election in the accumulation of multiple voting cards (cedulas). Quoting a Salvadoran official to this effect, he then adds: "Among those with several cards, according to reports here, was Ana Guadalupe Martinez, a top guerrilla leader." (March 24, 1984.) Thus in the only case where Meislin mentions fraud, he manages to put the onus on the guerrillas. But this is journalistic fraud. Is it not extremely unlikely that any Sal- vadoran official could know how many cedulas a top rebel leader held? Why would a guerrilla leader want extra cedulas, given the rebel stress on nonvoting? Note the use of "reports here," unspecified but suggesting more than one source. The New York Times is so devoted to truth that it removed the word "indiscriminate" from a news report on the Israeli bombing of Beirut. I would nevertheless give generous odds that the Times did not press Meislin to obtain authoritative confirmation of his Letters to the Editor Since the coming of the neoconservative revolution to the New York Times its letters column has deteriorated sharply in quality, partly reflecting the biased choices described in this article. The bias is difficult to prove scientifically as the rejected letters are not publicly available for comparison with those published. A sequence believed by this writer to be very common is provided below in an aborted series on the Salvadoran election. The third and rejected letter was sent in by the author himself, confident of rejection, but desirous of establishing a documented record. We see, first, a brief letter published on the requirement to vote in El Sal- vador. A more detailed published reply by a PR spokesman for the State Department follows. This closes the debate for the Times. The more detailed letter which follows, rebutting the State Department cliches, and which would have sup- ported the brief opening letter was not allowed to see the light of day. (And there was no other counter-rebuttal pub- lished.) The fact is that the people of El Salvador voted freely in what hundreds of international observers have described as one of the most open and fair elections in Latin American history. If there was a problem, it was that in the attempt to prevent any form of fraud the process became complicated and slowed the voting. Still, all Salvadoran political parties have acknowledged that the elections were a valid manifes- tation of the people's will. No one is arguing that El Salvador is a perfect democracy or that the election process did not have its flaws. But to seek to denigrate an event in which 70 to 75 percent of the eligible voters did cast ballots, displaying a degree of pa- tience few of us could have had, is both unfair and a mis- reading of a very significant event. JONATHAN S. MILLER Washington, April 2, 1984 The writer is the State Department's deputy coordinator /(')I' public diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean. Salvadoran Prod to Vote (April 1) To the Editor: A March 27 news story on the elections in El Salvador told us that "voting is compulsory" and that "citizens who have an election stamp on their national identity cards tend to feel more comfortable in their contacts with officials and security forces than those who do not." Obviously, in a truly democratic election citizens have the right not only to choose among the various candidates but to withhold their votes. In view of the terror being con- ducted by death squads believed to be linked to Government security forces, the high voter turnout should come as no surprise and, our Administration's claim to the contrary not- withstanding, should not be interpreted as a sign of progress toward democracy. GLORIA STEVENSON New York, March 27, 1984 Salvadoran People's Will Freely Expressed (April 5) To the Editor: Gloria Stevenson laments in her April 1 letter that voting in El Salvador is "compulsory." Yet it is worth noting that voting is also "compulsory" in other democratic nations, such as Australia. She also derides the high Salvadoran voter turnout and insinuates that one cannot withhold his or her vote as a form of protest. This simply is not correct. Not only could a voter choose from eight candidates (as opposed to the one-candidate slates in many countries), but he or she also could cast a blank ballot or deface it and thus show displeasure in the selection. Unpublished Letter (April 6) To the Editor: The State Department's Jonathan S. Miller contends (April 5) that the legal obligation to vote in El Salvador does not compromise electoral freedom, citing a similar arrange- ment in Australia. He fails to mention that the Australian "security forces" do not regularly kill large numbers of ''subversives" without due process, and that the Salvado- ran security forces have strongly urged the populace to vote against subversion. A finger mark and stamped identifica- tion card allow every Salvadoran who fails to vote to be quickly spotted. Miller also points to the existence of eight different par- ties contesting for office as proving choice. In South Viet- nam in 1967 there were I I different presidential candidates, but the "only mass-based political party" (Douglas Pike) in the country was barred from the election, the second largest popularly based organization, the organized Buddhists, had been crushed by military force, and advocacy of ''neu- tralism" was illegal. In El Salvador in 1984 the most impor- tant mass based political organization is oft the ballot by threat of murder and official plan, and none of the precondi- tions of a free election free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of organization- are met in advance. Many parties competing within a prescribed and narrow political orbit in a climate of endemic fear provide the form but not the substance of a free election. EDWARD S. HERMAN University of Pennsylvania ? Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 "reports" that a top guerrilla leader had multiple cedulas! Richard Meislin earned his spurs in 1982 by his unremitting focus on rebel disruption. In Demonstration Elections, Frank Brodhead and I point out that while Meislin repeatedly asserted that the rebels "vowed to disrupt" the 1982 elections, he never once cited a source and doggedly ignored contrary evidence published in his own paper. His colleague Warren Hoge did the same. For his service to official propaganda, Hoge was pro- nioted to chief of the Tinics's foreign bureau. Meislin was kept on to work the Central American heat. Raymond Bonner, who relied least on official propaganda, and published statements by the rebels on their intention not to disrupt that Hoge and Meislin ignored in favor of official propaganda, no longer re- ports on Central America. While the rebels were confused and perhaps not totally unified in 1982 (or 1984), Meislin's unqual- ified repetition of the vow to disrupt was dishonest journalism. He continued in the same mode in 1984, harping in article after article on this issue, never digging below the surface of alleged rebel actions, never hinting at the convenience of the disrup- tion ploy for the official staged drama, and hiding behind quotes from friendly officials. Meislin fits comfortably into the constraints on journalistic liberty in democratic El Salvador. Hedrick Smith manned the home front as analyst of the Sal- vadoran election of 1984 for the Times. With long experience in Washington, Smith is one of the select few among Times re- porters (along with Bernard Gwertzman and Bernard Wein- raub) with an advanced degree in official reporting-an M.C., or Master of Conduitry-in recognition of distinction in the classic mode of handling an official heat: simply repeating the view of officials as objective news, without batting an eyelash at internal contradictions, let alone applying any critical intelli- gence to the substantive issues. A deficient intelligence may even he serviceable here in helping avoid the discomfort that might follow from actually recognizing these contradictions. Hedrick Smith excels at framing an issue in accordance with the official view. Reporting on the return of the official obser- vers from the 1984 elections ("Better Prospects Seen for Rais- ing Aid to Salvador," March 27, 1984), Smith focuses on the pro-administration observers, their finding that the election was "impressive," and their view that this will enhance ad- ministration prospects for getting money for El Salvador. "There is not a word about what the observers saw, the sub- stance of the election, or the selectivity of choice of observers by the administration or by Hedrick Smith. In an article "Clear Choices In Salvador, Murky Plans in Nicaragua" (March 12, 1984), Smith captures in a single arti- etc all the essential elements of bias that he and his confreres display usually less comprehensively. He works consistently from the Reagan administration's perspective. Reagan is tak- ing "a gamble" in El Salvador "by resting so heavily on elec- tions as the cornerstone of his strategy in Central America." The objective in El Salvador is legitimation; the threat is polarization that is too deep. In Nicaragua, Reagan presses for elections to ''relax" the Sandinista grip; the "risk" is that they will relax just enough to win acceptance "without giving up significant power or control." This frame takes the U.S. right to intervene as a premise. It postulates that the Sandinistas wouldn't win an election that was truly free. It also transmits major distortions of fact regarding U.S. policy. The ''cor- nerstone" of the Reagan policy in Central America is /orce, not elections. Both in El Salvador and Nicaragua, elections are a public relations cover for a policy of military victory, a point actually made by the administration and its spokesmen, except where propaganda demands of the moment call for it solter tone. On what grounds does Hedrick Smith regard choices as "real" in Et Salvador? It is because there are several different parties contesting the election, from right to the ''left-of-cen ter" Duarte. They bicker, can form coalitions, and thus the electoral outcome is uncertain. But if t1)e Will left parties arc off the ballot aren't the choices limited by military force'' Smith doesn't discuss the point. If Duarte himself admitted that in his previous tenure as president lie was ~yithout po~oier,' srn ing as a figleaf for the army and United States. Is his nominal "left of-center" position meaningful? Smith doesn't say . Is it possi ble that the bickering is superficial and that the army and the United States are the ultimate arbiters? Smith doesn't address the point. Are there essential lreedonis and absence of coercion in El Salvador that are necessary lot a truly free election' It is here that Hedrick Smith shows why he is a Master of Conduitry. He talks only about suhstantivc electoral conditions in Nicaragua. He provides significant detail on the trials of l.a Preusa, press censorship, the Sandinista monopoly of power, and limits allegedly imposed on opposition candidates. Ile even gets a hit sarcastic about the ''rationed close of political pluralism'' in Nicaragua. Not a word on death squads or civil ian murders in Ed Salvador or legal state of, siege. I loky mam journalists have been killed in I'.1 Salvador? Papers closed? These are off the agenda in U.S. staged elections and Iledrick Smith therefore ignores them. One would think that Ile would notice the dichotomous treatment of the same subject in the same article, but as a spokesman for his government Hedrick Smith uses Doublethink with as niuch insouciance as his lead- ers. Concluding Note The dichotomous treatment of the Salvadoran and Nicara- guan elections by the Neu York Tintc.s described above lends powerful support to the hypothesis tested here: that the niass media follow it patriotic agenda. advance certain facts, sup- press others, and even tell outright lies. Sometimes the lies are government untruths ohjcctively transmitted; sometimes they are developed independently (see box). The package is impres- sive and is capable of making a staged hand carried out in an environment of ongoing mass murder saleable to the public. The 1984 Salvadoran election experience demonstrated, as did Vietnam in 1967 and F.I Salvador in 1982, that even where the real opposition is off the ballot by force, and none of the essen- tial conditions of a free election are nut in advance, the U.S. mass media will always find an election staged by their very own government in its very own client state a ''step toward de- mocracy.'' As regards a state in process of destabilization by their o,yn government, the media response is a hit different It is clear from the propaganda chorus already under way in regard to the Nicaraguan election that there is nothing the Sandinistas could do short of turning their country over to the connra.s in advance that would make their election other than a farce. The media will focus incessantly on U.S. official and Nicaraguan opposi- tion claims of unfairness and abuse, until the Sandinistas are ousted. If a new Soinoza is installed in their place, however, we may expect the media to resume the silence on the subject of free elections that prevailed from 1936 through 1978. ? 8. Raynumd Banner's inters Ie s kk ith I)unilc. VI 11 )nrk f,,,,, ,. March 1. 1982, P. I. Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Media Manipulation: Covert Propaganda in Time and Newsweek By Howard Friel* Marshall McLuhan once commented that the presentation of U.S. news is composed of two parts: the bad news, which is the news itself; and the good news, which is the advertising. Both parts serve ideological functions. For example, the adver- tisements in the New York Times place furs and jewels from Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's, and Bloomingdale's in the same field of vision as images of wars in Central America. The ad- vertisements are a cultural buffer between the North American reader of news and, for instance, the struggle of the Salvadoran people, helping to focus on the internal promises of our culture while distracting from the effects of our foreign policy on the rest of the world. Viewed in the context of foreign wars and peasant cultures, the advertisements in the Times are symbolic of a "superior" North American culture. The implied ideology of the advertisements is paired with the stated ideology in the news: presuming an inherent U.S. right to manage world e- vents to serve its own, more important purposes. Advertising and Ideology Advertising establishes ideological boundaries that are sel- dom violated. It would not be politically or psychologically consistent to display the wares of American opulence without a perceived U.S. moral authority in world and military affairs. For example, the Times is either unwilling or unable to print in- formation detailing U.S. nuclear aggression in the arms race. Each year, the Times relays to its readers CIA reports of superior levels of Soviet military spending.' In turn, Times coverage of related military issues, such as arms negotiations and treaty violations, assumes Soviet aggression in the field of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the Times understates or ignores completely the large body of evidence that points to the follow- ing conditions: serious flaws in the CIA estimates; U.S. mili- tary spending levels that exceed Soviet levels; the usefulness of the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) negotiations to the Reagan build- up and deployment of U.S. missiles in Europe; and U.S. viola- tions of the SALT I and 11 treaties.2 Like alternative mod- 1. In 1983, it CIA report to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee enti- tled ''Hearings on the Allocation of Resources in the Soviet Union and China" stated on page 10 that "in 1981 the dollar costs of Soviet defense activities were 45 percent greater than U.S. outlays." In 1982, a report by the Defense Intelligence Agency before the same Committee stated (p. 24) that "the cost of Soviet military activities in 1980 totaled $252 billion. U.S. outlays for similar military activities in 1980 totaled $168 billion." 2. There are numerous flaws in the CIA and DIA estimates of the Soviet mili- 'Howard Friel is it post-graduate student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on leave of absence to write it hook on Time and Newsweek nlacannes. This article represents sonic of his research on that project. els to the Ptolemaic universe, U.S. nuclear aggression is not discussed by "responsible" or "serious" scholars. The pre- scribed conduct for the U.S. military reporter is to function within certain ideological parameters, and, if necessary, to cover one's eyes, ears, and mouth. tary expenditures. A few are: -The intelligence agencies use dollar cost estimates of the Soviet military in comparisons with the U.S. military budget. This causes broad overestima- tions of Soviet defense activity. -Soviet military wage scales are much smaller than U.S. military wage scales. For example, the base pay for an American soldier is approximately $570 per month. The base pay for a Soviet soldier is approximately 5 rubles per month, or the rough equivalent of $8 per month. One way the CIA inflates its estimate of the Soviet military budget is to assign U.S. military pay scales to the Soviet military. -In comparing U.S.-Soviet military spending throughout the seventies, a comparison that President Reagan used in his 1982 State of the Union address to argue for increased U.S. military spending, the CIA and the Pentagon ex- clude U.S. expenditures on Vietnam while including Soviet military expendi- tures along the Chinese border. -CIA and DIA spending comparisons ignore the spending contributions of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Union must pay 90 percent of the Warsaw Pact budget while the U.S. shares its NATO budget with the world's wealthiest industrial democracies. Excluding U.S. and Soviet contributions, in 1980 NATO spent $94 billion in defense or almost six tines more than the $16.7 billion spent by the Warsaw Pact countries. The Soviets must fund two defense budgets while the U.S. is much more fortunate. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has called the CIA es- timates "a successful propaganda exercise" and "central to the presentation of the threat." Ruth Leger Sivard in World Military and Social F endirures /983, estimates that from 1960 to 1981 the U.S. outspent the Soviets on de- fense by over half a trillion dollars (p. 6). In a March 3, 1983 NYT article, Leslie Gelb and Richard Halloran covered the CIA report by focusing on the most superficial aspects of the report with the least damaging implications. Halloran and Gelb report that: The CIA specialists responsible for the annual reviews of Soviet military spending now say that their previous estimates of increases of 3 to 4 percent each year, after inflation, may he wrong, and that the rate of growth may have been no more than 2 percent. Their coverage of the CIA report is trivialized further when they write later that "whatever the outcome of the debate, the gap in spending is being closed by President Reagan's large military outlays." Violations of the SALT I Treaty include the development of the Rea- gan anti-ballistic missile system, while planned deployment of the Trident ballistic missile system is a violation of the terms of the SALT II Treaty. For extensive reading on the CIA and DIA estimates see: Franklyn Holzman, Are the Soviets Real/ Ow.spending the U.S. on Defense.', Interna- tional Security, Spring 1980: Soviet Military Spending. Assessing the Numbers Game, International Security, Spring 1982: Are We Really Falling Behind the Soviets?, Atlantic Monthly, July 1983: Andrew Cockburn, The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine, Random House, New York, 1983: Tom Gervasi, Arsenal of Democracy Il, Grove Press, New York, 1981, p. 16-18; Frank Ac- kerman, Reaganomics: Rhetoric is. Reality, South End Press, Boston, 1982, p. 61-64: Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social F.rpendinrrrs, /983, World Priorities, Washington, D.C., p. 44-45: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Annual Yearbooks, Stockholm, Sweden. Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Advertising in mass circulation journals, such as Reader's Digest, TV Guide, Titne, and Newsweek, presents a slightly different cultural vision where "the choice of what one eats, wears, and drives takes the place of significant political choices."' On this level, freedom of the shopping mall is news good enough to maintain a docile society, while the bad news is engineered to avoid internal conflicts or contradictions. Time magazine, for example, spares the public conscience by writ- ing of the U.S. effort "To Save El Salvador." (See Illustration I .) Even in the face of nuclear war Americans are told, and our To Save El Salvador President is fond of repeating, God is on our side. Meanwhile the famines in Africa are kept for the most part out of sight, as God, with assistance from Rockwell and General Electric, oversees the construction of the MX Missile at a cost of $40 billion. The advertisements in the Tinter serve another function by presenting establishment standards for political success, a stan- dard oriented toward the acquisition of the prizes in advertise- ments and integration into the advertised culture. In this con- text, political ideas are given credibility depending on their ca- pacity to generate individual, corporate. or national wealth. Other considerations, such as the threat of nuc lear war, are sec- ondary. This is further illustrated by the military advertise- ments on the Op Ed page of the Tinle.s, where our attention is focused not upon the destructive capacity of the advertised weapons, but upon the technological achievement of their con- struction. News Manipulation in the Newsmagazines George Russell, an editor at Time magazine, demonstrates how had news is turned into good news for the benefit of the American reader. In a recent article, Russell described the de- ployment of U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe in this way: "The first U.S. missiles had arrived. It was now up to the Soviets to make good on their many threats to begin a new and uncertain chapter in the tortuous history of the nuclear arms race." Notice how Russell interprets the actual, physical deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, not as an act of American aggression, but as an opportunity for Soviet aggression. Com- ntenting on the European demonstrators protesting the arrival of the U.S. missiles, Russell writes that "the hooliganism pro- vided an ugly backdrop for the arrival of the cruise missiles." In Russell's world, it is not the reckless deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons that is "ugly,'' but the European opposition to it. One might imagine the fascist press in Germany com- menting in a similar way on the "hooliganism" of the Polish resistance to the Nazi invasion of Poland. Covering Central America, Russell writes that Operation Goodwill, a U.S. directed counterinsurgency operation in El Salvador, is a "step in the right direction.'' Here. Russell not only openly advocates U.S. hacked niilitarv force as the solu- tion to the conflict in El Salvador, but ignores what he knows quite well, that counterinsurgency operations conducted by Central American military governments under U.S. supervi- sion include psychological warfare, and the organised terror and murder of innocent civilians. The continued massacre of civilians in El Salvador is an important element of the govern- ment's program to defeat the insurgents, not the exclusive product of the "renegade" death squads. The primary purpose of the massacres is to terrorize and kill those associated with the insurgents in order to discourage broad based and open sup- port. Chapter Five of the U.S. ,I rnn I is hl Alanual ()It l'.Ntc hctl- og>ieal Operations, entitled ''Psychological Operations in Sup- port of Foreign Internal Defense'' (counterinsurgeocy). states (p. 5-5) that "the major PSYOP objectives are to discredit the insurgents and to isolate them from the population. The insur- gents include the guerrillas and their supporting elenients The insurgents must he physically and psychologically de stroyed... International human rights agencies, including Anulesty In- ternational, have reported that frequent massacre victims of the Salvadoran Army are woolen, pregnant vsonten, babies, chil- dren, and the aged. One effect is to discourage 1uerrilla re- cruits who fear leaving their families defenseless. Another is to create morale problems for (hose guerrillas in the field who worry about the fate of families left behind. As in 1:1 Salvador, U.S. counterinsurgency in Vietnam exploited the separation of NLF guerrillas from their families. There is an abundance of U.S. psychological warfare leaflets from the Vietnam War to illustrate that the splitting up of guerrillas and families is all im- portant focus of U.S. counterinsurgency operations. One of the numerous psywar leaflets in Rohcrt W. ('handler's It to o/ Ideas: The U.S. Propaganda ('arnpai'n in Pi('tma)n' is JtIS- PAO (Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office) leaflet number 4385. The leaflet includes side-hv-side sketches of a happy lantily life and an obviously lonely guerrilla in the jungle. The transla- tion of the leaflet reads: While sitting by yourself in the heart of the forest, did it ever occur to you that: -Your old parents will soon (rave this world. I)ay and night they long for you, praying to God that von might be in good health, and that you stay he spared danger so you can return and see them one more time before they die. Your young children play around frivolously for lack of their father's care and guidance. Your wife is feeling sorry for herself and feels resent- ment each time she looks at her friends who harye a happier married life by their husband's side. What has become of your family life.' In the meantime, U.S. carpet bombing and counterio- 4. Robert W. Chandler. The ( .1 I', 'I i. i i / t t ,tnrt,,n,~w to l trm,un. Westvicw Press. Bounder. Colorado. I~)sl. I, ,.l Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 surgency programs were wiping out old parents, young chil- dren, and wives by the hundreds of thousands.` Since the vast majority of Time magazine readers do not know the nature and history of U.S. counterinsurgency, there is little opportunity to grasp the degree of deceit and the Orwellian nature of the de- signation Operation Goodwill. Perhaps future counterin- surgency operations in El Salvador will be called Operations Bliss or Ecstasy in order to tell Americans more good news about U.S. policies in Central America. Advertising in Time and Newsweek The propaganda structure of Time and Newsweek is designed to be effective at any level of reader involvement, whether one reads the articles or flips through the pages. The writing of George Russell is an example of propaganda in the written text. But equally important are the advertising and photo- graphic images in Time and Newsweek that normally we only glance at. Illustration 2 was part of a Chevrolet media cam- paign to sell cars on the coat tails of the born again nationalism in the United States due to the rise of Ronald Reagan. The ad I;i-. t - ;III 'film ! I I 5. Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Political Econom of Human Rights, Vol. 1, South End Press, Boston, 1979, p. 304, cite Bernard Fall re- ports of South Vietnamese casualties to be approximately 150,000 from 1957- 1965. The South Vietnamese, in the words of Fall. had been fighting "under the crushing weight of American armor, napalm, jet bombers, and finally, vomiting gases." On p. 312, the authors cite South Vietnamese casualty fig- ures from the Senate Subcommittee on Refugees at 4000)0 dead, 900,000 wounded, and 6.4 million made refugees. The authors note that these are con- servative figures. These figures do not include North Vietnamese casualties, and casualties from the U.S. bombing of Cambodia and Laos. slogan-USA-I IS TAKING CHARGE--ostensibly refers to Chevrolet's determination to maintain or regain its position as the domestic leader in U.S. car sales. But the slogan is de- signed to allow for other possible meanings. In a news magazine where the focus is placed primarily on world politics and war coverage, the slogan has a political connotation as well. The political timing and cultural context of an ad campaign such as this are important. Try to imagine Chevrolet con- templating the placement of this ad, for example, during the Iranian hostage crisis. Or imagine a similar advertisement in a magazine from a society where the people are not accustomed to perceiving the world and its people and resources as some- thing to be controlled or "taken charge" of. Illustration 3 is another Chevrolet advertisement designed to sell a new line of small pick-up trucks. Note the headline cap- tion which reads: Chew S-10 Blows Thera Awav. Again. Im- plied in this caption is an "us vs. them" or "good guys-bad guys" situation. Chevrolet is blt5wing up one of its enemies. while we, the witnesses, are allied with Chevrolet. Apparently, the enemy has been blown up once before, which explains the presence of the "Again" in the caption. Keeping the implica- tions of the caption in mind, look at the image in the ad. As we examine the explosions pictured on the page we begin to wonder why Chevrolet would choose an exploding truck as the most appropriate image to sell the S-I0. An exploding truck with an ambiguous caption would seem to he deficient in the informational content needed to help make an informed and rational purchasing decision. But perhaps it is not the rational Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 'ddarrng The Sisrgeen General fl e, Delermrmd ~aa r4afm*'a sinking h Da'geou; to Yew Heals mind that Chevrolet hopes to influence. Notice that among the explosions the artist decided to paint a flash that resembles the early stages of 'a nuclear mushroom cloud. Notice that the mush- room cloud seems to be located, not in the immediate vicinity of the truck, but beyond the truck along the horizon. Consider Chevrolet's chief competitors in the small pick-up truck mar- ket: They are Toyota and Datsun, or in other words, the Japanese. On a broader scale, which country represents the pri- mary foreign car threat to domestic automobile sales'? The an- swer is Japan. Which people have been the only people to have had nuclear bombs dropped on them'? The answer is the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki-the Japanese. Who then might the Chevy S-10 be blowing away'? . . . Again'? The answer is the Japanese, our enemy in automobile warfare. The theoretical advantage of propaganda such as this is that a message that is not consciously perceived has less chance to be consciously rejected. If a psychologist employed by the Chevrolet ad agency has determined that among a large propor- tion of potential truck buyers there is a fair degree of racial hatred toward the Japanese and other Asians, then this type of propaganda could be effective in selling trucks. The challenge to the psychological propagandist is to deliver an effective message to the target audience in a way that circumvents the conscious perception of the reader. As with the previous advertisement, the cultural environ- ment of this ad is relevant to the ad's message. This advertise- ment would not appear in a society that did not already have historical enmity for Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and In- dochinese people. When we consider our enemies in the Sec- ond World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War: and the Vietnamese boat people and the Cambodian refugees, many of whom were welcomed to the United States with soniethinrz less than enthusiasm, the Chevy S- 10, as a result of this ad. has a potentially large market of buyers. The point shown here graphically has also been made in print. George Will, a prominent U.S. propagandist, wa- monger, and ideological bully, argued in his syndicated news paper column for April 12 for the return of the Anicrican gas guzzler, since mass transportation systems "hardly sayc energy," and the scaled down size of big cars in the United States is one of the "dreary aspects of contemporary society Will discusses his need for a new car and why he vyill huy American: "It was time for a new American car American because all automobile-manufacturing nations have annoyed me: Japan and Germany by World War II, England by the Stamp Act, France by being mean to NATO, Sweden by sym- pathizing with North Vietnam.'' R. J. Reynolds-Vicarious Counterinsurgency Illustration 4 is an advertisement from R..1. Reynolds and another example of psychological propaganda in the adscrtis- ing industry. R. J. Reynolds is a giant U.S. conglomerate Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 which is first a cigarette company, but which also owns Sea- land, the largest container shipping firm in the world, and Del Monte, the largest vegetable and fruit packer in the United States. In Central America, Del Monte has agricultural produc- tion companies in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. Del Monte is also one of the largest food processing firms in Cen- tral America operating in Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras. In Guatemala, Del Monte (R. J. Reynolds) is the largest U.S. land owner. In revolutionary Central America the financial interests of R. J. Reynolds are at stake. It has been in the economic inter- ests of R. J. Reynolds to keep Central America as a haven for military governments in order to maintain the political stability necessary for stable investment. In Central America U.S. cor- porations can find cheap labor with little or no government reg- ulation defining minimum wages or working conditions, and there are few regulations to prevent U.S. corporations from funneling profits out of Central America and back into the United States. One way for R. J. Reynolds to maintain this in- vestment climate is to exert political influence in the U.S. by underwriting political propaganda in the mass media. Next time you pick up Time or Newsweek notice who buys much of the advertising space. It is a rare week when R. J. Reynolds does not buy several pages of advertising from both magazines. Considering that one full-page, four-color adver- tisement in Time costs over $100,000, we begin to realize that R. J. Reynolds alone represents a weekly revenue source for Time and Newsweek of several hundred thousand dollars, and an annual revenue source in the tens of millions for each magazine. Many of us have seen the advertisements for Winston cigarettes (an R. J. Reynolds product) that frequently appear in Time and Newsweek. The ads show rugged looking men situated outdoors, or in the wilderness, and almost always in the presence of a helicopter. The example shown here presents two men standing next to a helicopter, with helmets in the foreground that resemble those of U.S. Army issue. Notice the "Mountain Patrol" logos on the helicopter and on the shirts of the two men. It is necessary to view this ad in the political and military context of the vested interests of R. J. Reynolds in Central America. As we mentioned, R. J. Reynolds is the largest U.S. land- owner in Guatemala. Guatemala has been waging a counterin- surgency war for many years against Guatemalan guerrillas and the indigenous Indian population. Guatemala is also a land of mountainous terrain that makes counterinsurgency impossi- ble without helicopters to patrol the mountains. It is therefore important to R. J. Reynolds that the military government of Guatemala be supplied with helicopters and helicopter spare parts from the United States. If Guatemala cannot maintain its fleet of U.S. helicopters, the large land holdings of R. J. Reynolds in Guatemala would be at risk in the same way that the land holdings of United Fruit were threatened and finally confiscated by the Arbenz Government in the early 1950s. To help prevent the defeat of the present rightist government in Guatemala, it is necessary for those concerned to avoid the helicopter controversy of the Carter administration, and to lobby the public, the Congress, and the President to resume helicopter sales to Guatemala. On January 29 of this year, the Reagan administration agreed to sell Guatemala $6 million in spare parts for its fleet of American made Huey helicopters. Guatemala's foreign minister said that the parts were needed to restore Guatemala's helicopters so they could be used against Common Corporate, Military, and Media Interests Perhaps there would not be U.S. intervention in Central America, or such large military budgets, if these policies were not profitable for many U.S. institutions. There is a shared in- terest among the military establishment, U.S. corporations, and the mass media that goes a long way in explaining the per- sistent history of these two policies, and why many Americans find them so difficult to reverse. There is a connection between U.S. investment in Latin America and the fact that much of Central and South America has experienced extreme forms of political repression under right-wing military rule. Since 1950, the United States has trained over 52,000 Latin American mili- tary personnel to maintain the politically repressive societies that benefit U.S. investment. 7 In a very real sense U.S. mili- tary influence and training provides the network of corporate investors with military backing and support, in effect, guaran- teeing these investments over the long term. Many U.S. corporations are major advertisers in the U.S. media. Since corporate advertising provides the revenue base of the mass media, and since the media reports on the political and social conditions upon which the investments of their cor- porate clients depend, there would seem to be a serious conflict of interest at a very fundamental level of our corporate mass media system. The media have a huge financial incentive to avoid the type of coverage that might interfere with corporate stability abroad. The fact that the political significance of the U.S. corporate presence in Central America is ignored is in it- self compelling evidence of mass media bias in its coverage of the region. Here is a partial list of major U.S. corporations with investments in Central America, which advertise regu- larly in the U.S. media: Bank of America; Castle and Cooke (Dole bananas and pineapples, Bumble Bee seafoods); Eastman Kodak; Eaton; Exxon; GT&E; General Tire and Rub- ber; Goodyear; IBM; ITT; Philip Morris; R. J. Reynolds; Sears Roebuck and Co.; Texaco; and Texas Instruments. The sym- biotic corporate-media relationship helps to explain the monolithic quality and ideological uniformity of mass media news." The same type of relationship exists between the defense es- tablishment and the media. The Pentagon needs the technology and capital assets of our big corporations to make their weapons. These corporations need the highly profitable de- fense contracts. The media cooperate with tolerant coverage of this relationship, and is rewarded with an abundance of adver- tising revenue. This arrangement creates an ideological com- patibility and a motive to maintain a common propaganda sys- tem. This has proven to be a highly profitable arrangement. It is no accident that mass media and corporate-military institu- tions are among the wealthiest institutions in our society, while 6. The raised helicopter gunship consciousness in the United States is not the exclusive product of the Winston cigarette ads. Each of the three major net- works has at least one drama series featuring a gunship helicopter. ABC's helicopter is known as "Blue Thunder" and was described by the network as "an incredible armored helicopter crammed with state of the art technology." CBS-TV described its helicopter, the "Airwolf," as "the attack helicopter of the future, an awesome aerial weapon that can travel faster than sound." The "Airwolf" comes equipped with nuclear tipped missiles. 7. See Chomsky and Herman, Political Economy of Human Rights, Vol. I. frontspiece. 8. Information on U.S. corporate investment in Central America from Tom Barry, Beth Wood, and Deb Preusch, Dollars and Dictators: A Guide to Cen- tral America, The Resource Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1982. Number 21 (Spring 1984) Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 Approved For Release 2010/06/09: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180001-7 the world is overburdened with military hardware and nuclear weapons. Here is a partial list of major defense contractors that advertise regularly in the mass media, along with their defense contract awards for 1982: AT&T 5752 million; Ford Motor Co. $896 million; Eaton-$336 million; General Electric- $3.6 billion; General Motors-$689 million; General Tire and Rubber-$625 million; GT&E-$567 million:IBM-$1.2 bil- lion; ITT-$442 million; Lockheed-$3.4 billion; Rockwell $2.6 billion; Sperry-$I.1 billion; Texas Instruments- $839 million; TRW-$868 million; United Technologies-$4.2 bil- lion." The Manipulation of Newsphotographs in Time and News- week Photographs in Time and Newsweek are manipulated in ways designed to lead Americans to perceive the world in ways use- ful to the corporate-military establishment. This is what the U.S. Armv Field Manual on Psychological Operations (p. 1-7) says about the propaganda value of photographs: Pictorial and Photographic Propaganda. A photograph or picture can often insinuate a derogatory charge more ef- fectively than words. The combination of words and photo- graphs or pictures can be far more effective. . . . selected and composite photographs can be extremely effective. The examples from Time and Newsweek that follow illus- trate how the combination of words and photographs can "in- sinuate a derogatory charge more effectively," and how the pages of these magazines often resemble psychological warfare lIOslf Beaver Wars: Slaps of Danger in Burgundy 777 ., InnaM1tianl, .,f Burgun na, ,eJN a .pprc rplykly k,u e1~r d~~~ ,tun In, ARm, LPan tin. nigh .hen the gmcmmeni ~f gneba a g,n ?r r,wr beer. I H- PI-I... Ire m,J0g,a1 Y.ur1 Plan Vlamun 1h,hc-lasemB dy .hrrc, hq VmckIkly bu-llndgm.M.lup ., ywdp. muhipbd Torn the lrnunk bcyn Sm. +ekma f ern. n a.,dng?.a Megan md,ng .,1,., sum., and c,.xluded ,MI (:nW,an sn mah .,,h ,hc nPr'ny fa V.MJ prnnfennnn- gn,oro yet ago m < y. a nmfaF , d vJOg,,,, decMN W ,hl Vlyd heave III .M HpyR,r~, y i.n -ea Nevm l"F0 dl1 ph.,d ? "m,9lnng.up npn,wi' fm [karmhr InX3 Pkn,. n has .ppe.kd far alma ,n help h,m ,d r hn c.,,, fgered damn,, ha h pnn,dY,w1. 'Yhnr cp.o d..,., has ,m11 o,s FF p be.m." Plan ., pka m rd ,h ,ngurnlW f,rncnnm.,pprl