Skip to comments.Walter Cronkite and the CIA
Posted on 02/26/2008 1:15:37 PM PST by Richard Poe
|by Richard Lawrence Poe
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
FORMER CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite is 91 years old and ailing. Poor health prevented him from accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award in person on January 19. At such a moment, I would prefer to speak charitably of Cronkite. But the times call for candor. Cronkite's intrigues have cost the lives of countless American soldiers. Even worse, it appears that our Central Intelligence Agency assisted Cronkite in his betrayals. Americans need to know why.
Born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, Cronkite grew up in Kansas City and Houston, Texas. He dropped out of the University of Texas in 1935 to become a journalist.
Cronkite covered World War II for the United Press. He reported from North Africa; landed at Normandy in 1944; flew B-17 bombing raids over Germany and landed in a glider behind German lines in Holland. After the war, Cronkite covered the Nuremberg Trials, and served as Moscow bureau chief from 1946-48.
Then he got into television. In her 1979 book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire, investigative journalist Deborah Davis reports that CIA co-founder Allen Dulles brokered a deal between the Washington Post and CBS News in 1948. Through this arrangement, the Washington Post became sole owner of all CBS radio and TV outlets in our nation's capital. The Post's CBS affiliate WTOP-TV hired Cronkite in 1950, giving him his first job in television.
Allen Dulles -- who served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1953-61 -- carefully nurtured his ties with the two media companies he had brought together. Davis writes:
"The Post men continued to see Paley and Cronkite every Christmas at a dinner given by Allen Dulles at a private club called the Alibi. ... in the middle of downtown Washington..."
Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:
"CBS was unquestionably the CIA's most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS President William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees... Paleys designated contact for the Agency was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News between 1954 and 1961. ... [CBS News president Richard] Salant... continued many of his predecessor's practices..."
Sig Mickelson was Cronkite's first mentor at CBS. Richard Salant appointed Cronkite anchorman for CBS evening news in 1962.
In my last column, "How the CIA Lost Vietnam", I recounted Cronkite's infamous conduct following the communist Tet Offensive of 1968. American and South Vietnamese forces had routed the enemy. North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin later wrote in his memoirs:
"Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise. ... Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to re-establish our presence..."
Cronkite reported the opposite. "We are mired in stalemate," he told Americans on February 27, 1968. America's only hope, said Cronkite, was to "negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who... did the best they could".
Cronkite's message reached Hanoi loud and clear. The communists understood that Cronkite spoke for official Washington. In their darkest hour, he gave them hope. They resolved to fight on.
Nearly 30,000 American soldiers would die in Vietnam over the next five years. Then Nixon ended the war with the Paris Peace Accords of January 17, 1973. South Vietnam was safe. As long as Nixon remained in office, the communists did not dare break the treaty.
But the press had another trick up its sleeve; Watergate. Early Watergate reports in the Washington Post aroused little interest. Then Cronkite stepped in. The story was fading from the papers and we thought we needed to revive it", Cronkite told PBSs Frontline in 1996.
Under Cronkites direction, CBS News aired a twenty-two-minute, two-part summary of the Watergate scandal in October 1972. It rekindled the scandal, forcing President Nixon's resignation on August 8, 1974.
Predictably, North Vietnam invaded the South in December 1974. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975.
Cronkite's CIA connection surfaced briefly during the Congressional Pike Committee hearings of 1975-76. CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr, who covered the hearings, later wrote:
"A former CBS correspondent, Sam Jaffe, said that the CIA had gotten him a job at CBS and that the list of current and former journalist-spies included Walter Cronkite. Cronkite heatedly denied that..."
In theory, I see no reason why journalists should avoid helping the CIA in matters of national interest. But who defines the national interest? The tragic story of Walter Cronkite teaches us that CIA spymasters may be poor judges at best.
|Richard Lawrence Poe is a contributing editor to Newsmax, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Siezed Control of the Democratic Party, co-written with David Horowitz.|
What’s left unsaid is why the CIA would want to bring about a US defeat in Vietnam. ???
Conkrite is one of those I will not shed a tear for when he dies. There will be a special place in hell for him and his ilk.
While I loathe the antics of Cronkite, who is to blame for losing Vietnam? If Cronkite was the mouthpiece for the Johnson Administration and CIA Cronkite was merely the tool who relayed the message they wanted the North Vietnamese to hear.
Why would the CIA want to lose in Vietnam and to oust Nixon?
Uncle Walter is a liberal Democrat who wore his political affilation on his sleeve. Along with NBC’s Huntley and Brinkley he helped perfect the image of young John Kennedy and foisted that phoney on the public.
Turning on the Vietnam War in the late sixties, Cronkite was later part of the media clique who refused to report the slaughter of America’s allies in the mid seventies.
Two million, maybe more dead as a result of the US pullout. Not news though. If the MSM doesn’t cover it, it must not be happening.
And his young protege's spew out the same traitorous lies today regarding Iraq.
To answer your question there is a great book now out of print called THE YANKEE AND COWBOY WAR. Written just after Watergate it goes into the issues dividing the nation and how intermural war broke out after the Kennedy assassination when it became clear to some that there had been a coup.
Wish I could think of the author’s name.
That bastard caused more damage to the US than LBJ. I hate few people, but uncle walter is one that has earned my enmity.
I touched upon that topic in some previous columns:
My Father did 2 tours in Vietnam and tried to inform me of Cronkite’s disdain for America. I was 12, 13 at the time and thought my Dad was full of it. I know better now. Cronkite already has his 1st class, one way to hell. Enjoy you SOB!
I wonder if they were infiltrated. The Soviets had people everywhere else in our govt it seems.
Maybe they didn’t want a defeat, per se, but to keep it dragging on and on and on, until the cash cow had no more to give. I remember things I saw and was involved in that leads me to this supposition.
Could it be that the CIA has alway been loaded down with a bunch of liberals who actually do not have our best interests at heart? Probably the same reason the CIA tried to buck Bush every step of the way during his presidency.
Nixon had them beat, the communists and the American left, and then there was the collapse of Watergate. But certainly Nixon showed how the left could be beaten through direct confrontation and condemnation.
And mine as well!
CIA has been a preserve of the idiot elites from Yale for decades. I believe every CIA operative in the Soviet Union was executed while the CIA ignored the obvious presence of a mole at Langley. Faceless elitist beauracrats don’t do a good job running anything.
Watergate was an orchestrated collapse. It was a nothing event that the press wasn’t interested in until after McGovern’s defeat. The WaPo and NYTimes saw it as an opportunity to overturn an election. CBS agreed. I remember the tremendous media campaign of ‘73 and ‘74. A liberal full court press forcing Nixon to resign.
Nixon could never quite understand how he allowed them to trap him; after all FDR used the FBI time and again for “black bag jobs”. Read Conrad Black’s FDR.
Nixon could never quite get the fact that there were two sets of rules, one for the Kennedys and their like, another for him.
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