I read the latest example of The New York Times’ propagandistic coverage of the Ukraine crisis on Tuesday, it struck me that if these same reporters and editors were around in 1953, they would have cheered the coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh as a popular “revolution” putting the beloved and benevolent Shah back on the Peacock Throne.
Similarly in 1954, these credulous journalists would have written about another people’s “revolution” in Guatemala removing President Jacobo Arbenz and restoring law and order behind well-regarded military commanders. The Times would have airily dismissed any suggestions of U.S. manipulation of events.
And, for decades, that was how the Central Intelligence Agency wanted American journalists to write those stories – and the current crop of Times’ journalists would have fallen neatly into line. Of course, we know historically that the CIA organized and financed the disorders in Tehran that preceded Mossadegh’s removal and pulled together the rebel force that drove Arbenz from office.
And, the evidence is even clearer that U.S. government operatives, particularly Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, helped orchestrate the 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Indeed, journalists knew more about the coup-plotting in Ukraine in real-time than we did about the coups in Iran and Guatemala six decades ago.
In the Ukraine case, there was even an intercepted phone call just weeks before the Feb. 22, 2014 coup revealing Nuland handpicking the new Ukrainian leaders – “Yats is the guy,” she said referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who would become the post-coup prime minister – as Pyatt pondered how “to midwife this thing” and Nuland dismissed the European Union’s less aggressive approach with the pithy remark, “Fuck the EU!”
Several months earlier, on Sept. 26, 2013, Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy (a U.S. government-funded