The History of CIA-Funded Foundations: Why the CIA Deliberately Funds Socialists and Liberals

Who Paid the Piper: The Cultural Cold War1 by Frances Stoner Saunders (1999)  is about the covert “cultural” propaganda the CIA carried out between 1950 and 1967. The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the centerpiece of this operation, had offices in 35 countries, published over 20 magazines, held art exhibitions and provided major financial support for American artists, poets, authors and playwrights. Its primary purpose was to “nudge” the intelligentsia of Western Europe away from Marxism and communism towards a more accommodating view of US interests.

At the end of World War II, Europeans tended to view the US as “a culturally barren nation of gum chewing, Chevy driving, Dupont-sheathed Philistines.” To counteract this stigma, Truman issued an appendix to executive order NSC-4A, directing the CIA director to undertake covert psychological activities in support of American anti-Communist policies.

As Saunders details, this strategy included CIA support for both US and foreign Non-Communist Left (NCL) organizations, trade unions who agreed to weed out “dangerous radicals” and leftist intellectuals. The rationale was to create and support “parallel” organizations to provide an alternative to Communist groups over which the CIA had no control...


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