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.
Even for students of the history of the Intelligence Community (IC), Robert Blum is all but forgotten except as a bureaucrat, a professor, and the head of a philanthropic foundation with ties to the CIA. In reality, he was a counterintelligence chief who worked for several agencies, built large pieces of the United States’ foreign economic policies, had the Director of Central Intelligence fired, and redesigned a significant portion of the IC, including its mechanisms for covert action and propaganda.
Former House Majority Leader worked with the CIA to use a Congressional investigation for propaganda - and it backfired
Declassified CIA documents describe the Agency’s agreement to work with a Senator’s plan to use a 1952 Congressional investigation into Soviet war crimes for propaganda purposes. While it may have worked in the short run, documents indicate that both Agency and State Department personnel believe it may have backfired, and led to charges the U.S. was using biological weapons in Korea.
In 1951, as the Cold War was intensifying, the CIA decided to see how Voice of America radio broadcasts into Eastern Europe compared with Soviet efforts. In a remarkably candid document, the Agency critically assessed the similarities and differences between U.S. and Soviet propaganda, which they noted had a lot more in common than most Americans would think.
Washington insider wanted J. Edgar Hoover to leverage his friendship with Walt Disney so he’d produce religious cartoons
As we’ve written before, Walt Disney and J. Edgar Hoover enjoyed a decades-long professional and person friendship, with fringe benefits including union busting and free admission to Disneyland for FBI Agents. There were downsides, however - such as when one unnamed DC insider tried to leverage the Director’s relationship to pressure Disney into making religious cartoons.