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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 15:54:21 EDT
Subject: Desperate Deception


Just callin' y'alls attention to Thomas E. Mahl's "Desperate Deception: 
British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44" (Brassey's,
Dulles, VA, 1998).  I just finished reading it and . . . I was shocked. 

As is well known, MI-6 (SIS) set up an interesting little operation in NYC
way back then, which, among other things, formed the backbone of the OSS,
the parent of the CIA.  Run by William Stephenson, "Intrepid", the British
Security Coordination office had previously been documented in Montgomery
Hyde's "The Quiet Canadian" (or "Room 3603" in it's US publishing) --
which, in turn is a rehash of a secret after-action report referred to by
Mahl as "BSC Account." 

But, until Mahl published his book, the full extent (and overall context)
of BSC activity wasn't known except to "insiders." 

Seems that BSC: Mounted a massive propaganda campaign to brand all
"isolationists" as Nazis (fueled by fabricated "attrocity" documentation
produced out of a clandestine photo-lab in Toronto), managed to
marginalize and then boot out the key member of the House who opposed U.S.
entry into WW II (Hamilton Fish), sent a string of female agents into the
bed of the key opposing Senator Vandenberg (who subsequently swung sharply
to support entry), engineered the nomination for President of Willkie by
the largely "isolationist" Republicans in 1940 (Willkie was a lifelong
Democrat who had never run for national office), infiltrated Gallup, Roper
and all the other "pollsters" and pumped out completely phony polls
pointing to huge popular groundswell for entering the war, operated dozens
of fron organizations, while getting huge cooperation from Henry Luce's
Time, Inc, the New York Times and virtually using the New York Herald
Tribune as a full-time mouthpiece of British Intelligence. 

Oh, yeah, Mahl documents how a secret treaty (drafted by BSC) extends the
British Official Secrets Act to the U.S.  Funny, the NYTimes never
mentions that when they report that the much basic historical material
post-WW II still has not been released to the public. 

All this to get the U.S. into the war.  Surely nothing like that could
happen again, right? 

Seems that Americans were wary of being duped into another foriegn war
after massive documentation pored out following WW I about how the U.S.
was "tricked" -- by Britain -- into entering that fight.  Interestingly,
following WW II, historians and others involved closed ranks and blocked
any return to such discussion, and, to this day, "isolationist" remains a
very effective attack-label in U.S. foreign policy circles. 

So, bombing without a ground invasion (to avoid stirring up an
"isolationist"  U.S. public) for a war that was fought substantilly with
British propaganda, sounds vaguely familiar.  Could the U.S. be "tricked"
once again? 

Naw, that couldn't happen now.  Now we have the Internet and propaganda of
that sort simply doesn't work anymore.  As we all know. 


Mark Stahlman

P.S.  Oh, yeah, then there's the fascinating Op-Ed in today's (June 16th)
NYTimes.  Jason Goodwin's "Learning from the Ottomans" suggests that the
only solution to the problem of the Balkans is . . . a new Empire. 
Pointing out that 42 Grand Viziers were Albanian and the greatest of the
Grand, Mehmet Sokullu, was a Serb, Goodwin suggests that *all* the states
of the Balkans be invited to join the European Union.  Tomorrow.  Invited
to join the new Empire.  Hmmm . . . maybe history has some lessons, after
all.  As long as you know where to look, of course.