Americans love a good conspiracy theory, and plenty have been bandied about this election season. But what about conspiracy theories that turned out to be, well, not theoretical at all?
The CIA has long played the international game of propaganda required by an intelligence agency, but during the Cold War, the Agency paid and intimidated journalists into helping promote its messages. Famous Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein broke the story in 1977 for Rolling Stone. Bernstein revealed the workings of Operation Mockingbird, in which many journalists – included Pulitzer Prize winners – joined the CIA’s payroll, writing fake stories to disseminate the agency’s agitprop and providing intelligence. Other journalists were threatened and blackmailed into cooperating with Mockingbird, and many were given falsified or fabricated information about their actions in order to engender their support for the CIA’s mission. The program has never been officially discontinued.
Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, taking on a conspiracy of epic proportions in a fight for the truth. Don’t miss the action in theaters and IMAX, opening October 21.