(en)Gloria Steinem and the CIA

Lyn Gerry (linjin@tao.ca)
Sun, 11 May 1997 19:03:57 pst


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Gloria Steinem and the CIA

by Daniel Brandt (Portland Free Press, March/April 1997)

[Editor's Note: Daniel Brandt has done a major service for serious researchers into U.S. Government psyops. Gloria Steinem's "Miss Goody Two Shoes" image is as phony as Gay Edgar Hoover's public relations "Mr. Macho G-man" scam. One item Daniel does not mention regarding Steinem concerns her teaming up with Ted Gunderson to foment the U.S. Government "Satanic child abuse" hysteria, which has produced a decade-plus of brain death for a significant part of the population. Gunderson brags about being one of the top FBI COINTELPRO supervisors during the wipe out of the Black Panther Party, American Indian Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, et al., in the '60s and '70s. Since he "retired," he has been all over every major story from "Satanic child abuse" to the Oklahoma City bombing like a cheap suit. But, it seems most people on the institutional "right" are suckers for Gunderson's canards. Steinem is accorded the same reverence by people on the institutional "left." In fact, fawning over Steinem has become a minor art form in certain publications; yet Steinem is flogging the same canard as Gunderson. Ex-CIA and ex-FBI together flogging the same canard?Sorry, folks, but this flunks the smell test. For the inside story on the Gloria and Ted show, read Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern Witch Hunt, Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker, 1995.]

There has been some discussion of Gloria Steinem's CIA connections on the Internet. My essay, "Philanthropists at War," which is still available at http://www.pir.org/newsline.15, puts Steinem's CIA history in perspective. The focus of that essay was on the role of foundations, specifically Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie, in the covert activities of U.S. intelligence since World War II. These three foundations played a crucial role in the emergence of the women's movement in the early 1970s - including Steinem, her "Ms." magazine, her Women's Action Alliance, the National Organization for Women, and women's studies programs on campuses. They've been funding "identity politics" ever since. It's a consistent pattern: The intelligence community needed to Balkanize the 1960s student movement, because students were starting to do research into the American power structure and connect the dots. In 1967, Ramparts magazine got the ball rolling by exposing the CIA's funding of the National Student Association. The New York Times and Washington Post picked up the story, and many "student leaders" who were enjoying CIA funding were interviewed on the record in 1967. Steinem was quoted as saying, "The CIA's big mistake was not supplanting itself with private funds fast enough" (New York Times, 21 February 1967). (I covered the role of Ramparts in my essay on "Philanthropists at War." ) Another source is a biography of John McCloy by Kai Bird, published in 1992. If you don't know who John McCloy was, suffice it to say that he was chairman of Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank and was a key figure in U.S. cold war strategy. Other names mentioned below, C.D. Jackson and Cord Meyer, were top figures in U.S. intelligence. Since there are only several paragraphs that mention Steinem - on two pages from the text and one from the footnotes - I will quote them in full. The source is Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-84, 727. Note that Bird's documentation includes a letter from Steinem to Jackson while she was getting money from the CIA: "In the summer of 1959, just before McCloy took his family for an extended trip to Europe, C.D. Jackson wrote to remind McCloy that later that summer a World Youth Festival was scheduled to take place in Vienna. Jackson asked McCloy to contribute an article, perhaps on the "benign and constructive aspects" of the U.S. occupation of Germany. The piece would appear in a daily newspaper to be published in Vienna in conjunction with the festival. McCloy agreed, and the article was published (in five languages) in a newspaper distributed by a twenty-five-year-old Smith graduate named Gloria Steinem. [138] "McCloy's connection to Steinem went beyond contributing an article to the propaganda operation of which she was an editor in Vienna. Late in 1958, he and Jackson had discussed how the United States should respond to the expected Soviet propaganda blitz in Vienna. Previous gatherings of this kind had always been held in Moscow, East Berlin, or other cities in Eastern Europe. These events were major propaganda circuses, and the CIA was determined, in the words of Cord Meyer, a career CIA officer, 'to compete more effectively with this obviously successful Communist apparatus.'[139] "Washington expected some twenty thousand students and young scholars from all over the world to converge on Vienna that summer for the three-week festival. Consequently, the CIA wanted an organized student presence in Vienna in order to counter Soviet propaganda. "C.D. Jackson recognized the Vienna Youth Festival as 'an extremely important event in the Great Game.' He explained, 'This is the first time commies have held one of these shindigs on our side of the iron curtain; and what goes on, how it goes on, and what the follow-up will be is, I think, extremely important.'[140] "By the time Jackson first approached McCloy, in the autumn of 1958, he and Cord Meyer, head of the CIA's International Organizations division (IO), had a plan. The Agency would provide discreet funding to an 'informal group of activists' who would constitute themselves as an alternative American delegation to the festival. The CIA would not only pay their way but also assist them to distribute books and publish a newspaper in Vienna. Among other individuals, Jackson and Meyer hired Gloria Steinem to work with them. Steinem had recently returned from a two-year stint in India, where she had been a Chester Bowles Asian Fellow. "'I came home in 1958,' Steinem later explained, 'full of idealism and activism, to discover that very little was being done. . . . Private money receded at the mention of a Communist youth festival.'[141] Convinced that a contingent of liberal but anticommunist American students should go to Vienna, she heard through her contacts at the National Student Association that there might be funding available to finance American participation in the festival. Working through C.D. Jackson and Cord Meyer, Steinem then set up an organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts called the Independent Service for Information on the Vienna Youth Festival. She obtained tax-exempt status, and Jackson helped her raise contributions from various American corporations, including the American Express Company. But most of the money came from the CIA, to be managed by Jackson in a 'special account.' The entire operation cost in the range of $85,000, a not inconsiderable sum in those years.[142] (Steinem's organization, later renamed the Independent Research Service, continued to receive support from the CIA through 1962, when it financed an American delegation to the Helsinki Youth Festival.[143]) Steinem ended up working closely with Samuel S. Walker, Jr., vice-president of the CIA-funded Free Europe Committee. Because the Austrians did not want to be associated with the Free Europe Committee, the Agency set up a commercial front called the Publications Development Corporation (PDC). Walker was made president of this dummy corporation, funded in part by 'a confidential one-year contract' worth $273,000 from the Free Europe Committee.[144] His job was to supervise the book-and-newspaper operation at the Youth Festival.[145] . . .

"138. C.D. Jackson to McCloy, 12 June '59, DDE [Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene KS]; Cord Meyer, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (New York: Harper & Row, 1980), p. 103. "139. Meyer, Facing Reality, p. 102. "140. C.D. Jackson to Frank Stanton, 13 July '59, DDE. "141. NYT, 21 Feb. '67. "142. C.D. Jackson to Cord Meyer, 16 Dec. '58; Samuel S. Walker, Jr., to C.D. Jackson, 2 Feb. '59; Gloria Steinem to C.D. Jackson, 3/19/59, DDE. "143. When this covert operation was revealed by Ramparts magazine in 1967, Steinem told the New York Times that she approved the Agency's role. 'Far from being shocked by this involvement, I was happy to find some liberals in government in those days who were far-sighted and cared enough to get Americans of all political views to the Festival.' (NYT, 21 Feb. '67). Steinem's definition of a liberal then included such young men as Zbigniew Brzezinski, an assistant professor at Harvard, and Tom Garrity, a lawyer with Donovan & Leisure. She arranged though Jackson funding for both men to attend the festival. (She also tried to get Michael Harrington to attend, but he dropped out at the last minute.) Steinem's politics then appeared to be typical of many 1950s anticommunist liberals. She told the Times in 1967, 'I was never asked to report on other Americans or assess foreign nationals I had met.' But in fact, in response to a query from C.D. Jackson, Steinem wrote Jackson in great detail on the left-wing affiliations of various Americans associated with the allegedly Soviet-backed U.S. Festival Committee. (Gloria Steinem to C.D. Jackson, 19 March '59, DDE; NYT, 21 Feb. 21 '67.)

"144. S.S. Walker to C.D. Jackson, 'Status Report,' DDE. "145. Samuel Walker eventually made a career out of publishing, becoming president of Walker & Co., a New York City publishing firm founded in the same year as the CIA funded Publications Development Corporation. In Vienna, he and Steinem worked well together. Their organizing efforts led to a split in the official American delegation. Their propaganda machine pumped out four hundred thousand copies of a daily newspaper for three weeks with articles by McCloy, Irving Kristol, Czeslav Milosz, Hubert Humphrey, Willy Brandt, Isaac Deutscher, and a broad range of other intellectuals and politicians. They also distributed some thirty-six thousand books by such left-of-center but anti-Soviet writers as George Orwell and Milovan Djilas. In the midst of it all, Walker reported back to Jackson, 'Gloria's group continues to do yeoman service, distributing books etc. to the point where the cry has gone up "Never before have so many Young Republicans distributed so much Socialist literature with such zeal."' Walker praised Steinem's 'female intuition' and wrote, 'Gloria is all you said she was, and then some. She is operating on 16 synchronized cylinders and has charmed the natives. . . .' (C.D. Jackson to Cord Meyer, 14 July '59, with attached Walker diary; Walker to Jackson, 31 July '59, DDE.)" Currently Steinem, along with Alice Walker, another participant at the Vienna Youth Festival, are members of the "Women & Media Project Advisory Board" of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), 130 West 25th Street, New York NY 10001, Tel: 212-633-6700, Fax: 212-727-7668, http://www.fair.org/fair/ FAIR's women's desk director, Laura Flanders, is apparently curious about this issue, and requested a copy of the Redstockings material from me. You may want to let Flanders, as well as FAIR Executive Director Jeff Cohen and FAIR Extra! editor Jim Naureckas, know how you feel about Gloria Steinem. Except for the fact that FAIR is dependent on some of the same suspicious funding sources, they are in a good position to investigate the issue of the CIA and the media. They are critical of The Washington Post and New York Times for their easy dismissal of the San Jose Mercury News charges about CIA and crack cocaine. Incidentally, the Post's writer on intelligence issues, Walter Pincus, is one of those who dismisses the San Jose Mercury News story. Pincus was also a CIA-funded globetrotter from 1959-1960. And Katharine Graham, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, was a stockholder in "Ms." magazine even before the first issue was published in 1972. In a 1988 speech to senior CIA employees at Agency headquarters, Ms. Graham had this to say: "There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

[Editor's note: Katharine Graham is owner of the Washington Post Corporation. She is as rich as Steve Forbes and twice as powerful. The Post and CIA have had a symbiotic relationship since day one. The best source on Kate Graham remains, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post, Deborah Davis, 1987.]

Dan Brandt can be reached at: Public Information Research, Inc. PO Box 680635, San Antonio TX 78268 Tel: 210-509-3160 Fax: 210-509-3161 Nonprofit publisher of NameBase info@pir.org; www.pir.org; telnet pir.org _______________________________________________ Portland Free Press http://www.radio4all.org/pfp/

"Tell the truth and run." --George Seldes _______________________________________________

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