Archive‎ > ‎

Spinning Propoganda by Ralph McGehee

Claiming to be outdone by foreign propaganda campaigns (like those of the wily Serbs), the US government has concluded it must tighten up its public relations by coordinating the news management efforts of Defense, State, Justice, Commerce, and Treasury and the CIA and FBI.

Ralph McGehee has some important background information on this initiative as well as insight into what it will mean in practical terms.


The new International Public Information Group (IPI) whose birth obviously originated in the intelligence community, creates a government-wide propaganda mechanism.

An ad says: CIA is looking for a few good "perception management" analysts. Perception management is the study "of how foreign entities attempt to mislead U.S. intelligence and policymakers on critical national security issues." (A bait and switch ad).

The new IPI charter says: "The intelligence community will play a crucial role...for identifying hostile foreign propaganda and deception that targets the US...The IPI core group is ordered to "assist [U.S. government] efforts in defeating adversaries."

The similarity of goals cited between the CIA want ad and the language of the IPI charter suggest that IPI is the brain child of the CIA -- just as an earlier near identical (and illegal) operation in the Reagan Administration was guided and directed by the CIA.

Since the CIA's covert operations rely on lying in all its forms and since the intelligence community will play a crucial role in IPI operations, we must conclude that the CIA will direct this propaganda juggernaut.

The IPI charter orders its core group to arrange "training exercises at the National Defense University, National Foreign Affairs Training Center, the Service War Colleges and other institutions." Thus, propaganda -- domestic and foreign -- replaces the importance of the "Counterinsurgency" training of another era.

We are at war on reality with ourselves.

Ralph McGehee is the author of _Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA_ (New York: Sheridan Square Publications, 1983) and the creator of CIABASE, an incredible database documenting CIA activities world-wide. For purchasing details write Ralph McGehee:

"...if only the press were to do its duty, or but a tenth of its duty, this hellish system could not go on." - William Cobbett, Rural Rides, 1830


A former senior Clinton Administration official charged that the new multi-agency plan to control the dissemination of information abroad is aimed at "spinning the American public."

Presidential Decision Directive 68, ordered the creation of the International Public Information (IPI) system -- and said "information aimed at the U.S. audience should be coordinated integrated, deconflicted and synchronized with the IPI to achieve a synergistic effect." PDD 68 does not distinguish between what would be done overseas and what would be done at talks about a news war...The target is the American people." Washington Times 7/29/99 A1.

PDD 68 orders top officials from the Defense, State, Justice, Commerce, and Treasury and the CIA and FBI to meet and set up a core group. Coordinating this massive agglomeration will inevitable produce fact-blindness especially when you include the misinformation operations of the CIA. If there is any plan to distinguish fact from fiction, IPI should know about CIA deception operations -- but CIA will never reveal those details to anyone.

One major role for the CIA is the creation of false evidence to support its operations -- it refuses to share those details with other agencies. Internally it even restricts details of such operations using strict need-to-know and compartmentation policies. So when it conducts many and massive deception operations those deceits inevitably will end up in the domestic media and will shape our foreign policies. With the creation of the IPI these stories will be disseminated world-wide and especially domestically.

What are some types of CIA False Evidence operations? The CIA forges documents and places them where they will be discovered and disseminated widely. (It effectively demonizes targets even the most honorable while glorifying sponsored "demons"). It sets off bombs, blaming them on targets. It plants "Communist" or now probably "terrorist" weapons shipments and arranges for them to be found as it broadcasts details of such widely.

It buys foreign media and employees and book publishers, establishes policy-making think tanks and their publications, it employs foreign radio and television stations -- all used to disseminate its deceits.

As one example -- It kept the media riveted for months as it told of Cuban troops in Angola raping Ovimbundu girls. The villagers were outraged, captured the Cubans, and over a period of months held a trial, proclaimed them guilty and then executed the Cubans with their own weapons -- the only thing wrong with the story was that it was all made up.

Doctored photographs, false atrocity stories, falsely attributed scholarly books written criticizing or blaming this or that movement or target (over 1000 titles published in one period) make up more of its arsenal of lies. Its operations in academia sponsor or subvert thousands of domestic academicians and untold numbers of foreign academics. It also sponsors numerous politicians and their groups and media operations. (One sample of the massive nature of the deceptions it employs can be found here, Those it used in Chile and they led to the empowerment of Pinochet.)

I have had a number of experiences with the disinformation/ deception operations. Perhaps the most pervasive and destructive were CIA lies re Vietnam from 1950 through 1998. But I found that it also lied most effectively in its intelligence and -- in the facts that it suppressed.

So this is what the American people can expect under the new IPI. To appreciate its terrible power I recommend reading George Orwell's classic "1984."

Details of a group similar to IPI in the Reagan Administration that was declared illegal see: