Tom Secker and Matthew Alford spent years digging into a secret that was hiding in plain sight. Or rather, hiding in movie theaters, television sets, and streaming services everywhere: The secret influence the Department of Defense and intelligence community had on Hollywood. In this Requesters Voice, Secker shares what he learned.
While some outlets did briefly describe the Asia Foundation as being an alleged Central Intelligence Agency conduit, the charges were typically vague and largely circumstantial. None of the archived reports specifically tied it to Agency funds until March 21, 1967 when TAF announced it in a limited hangout”, a technique used when the Agency “can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case.”
The Asia Foundation is, on the surface, a private non-profit that contributes to the development of Asia, including donating millions of books. In reality, since it was created by Central Intelligence Agency in 1951, TAF has engaged in a decades long campaign to misrepresent its origins, purpose and funding.
At the same time that Robert Blum was helping shape National Security Council’s policies on covert psychological operations and paramilitary actions, Secretary of Defense Forrestal named Blum to the committee exploring the creation of the Armed Forces Security Agency - the direct predecessor to the NSA.