We came from Russia to New York in 1972, and in the September 1978 issue of Commentary magazine, I published my article “What the CIA Knows About Russia,” which was reprinted or retold by about 500 periodicals all over the West.
But not by The New York Times. I felt sorry because the U.S. government would have paid attention to Times report and would have acted accordingly. But there was an incident that could have helped me.
I had given a lecture at the East Side Conservative Club, and its president, Tom Bolan, invited me to become a member of its advisory board. I explained to him that I was not a conservative. In the West, different denominations, like Republicans and Democrats in the United States, fight, sometimes venomously and forgetting that unless they defend their countries against totalitarianism, the latter will kill them regardless of their political affiliation.
The leading Russian communists—Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinovyev, and Bukharin — were killed in “communist” Russia as offhandedly as was the tsar Nicholas II. “So I understood it from your lecture,” Tom said. “Still, I invite you to get on our advisory board.” And so I did.
William Safire, a Republican, yet the most important columnist of the most important American (Democratic?) newspaper, was a member of Tom’s Conservative Club and was to give there a lecture. Tom introduced us, and spoke with Safire about the crucial importance of my CIA article.
Safire was very respectful and carried my article with him all that evening. Whereupon the article disappeared as far as he and The New York Times were concerned — he never mentioned it in his columns and The New York Times ignored it as before.
Let us now see why over 500 Western periodicals of the West reprinted or retold the article.
What happened was that for the first time an intelligence-espionage service (in this case, the CIA) had made its reports public — they were publicly discussed by Congress and copies could be given to anyone who requested them. I rushed to Washington, D.C. to obtain copies. Tragically, no one else outside the Congress did and as a result, no one else wrote about them.
What did I discover? That the Western intelligence-espionage agencies, such as the CIA, do not exist in our era of totalitarian societies. They are fit only for the 19th and earlier centuries.
A potential Western spy crossed the border of a Western foreign country. Thus millions of spies could have easily and safely appeared in the United States. In Soviet Russia, they would have been shot as they tried to cross the border. Those few who had crossed it would have been apprehended and shot in the country, since every “Soviet citizen” was to have a passport, that is, an “internal passport,” in which his birth and his parents, all places of residence and those of study or work were registered, with copies kept in the police (“militia”).
As the CIA stated publicly, the Western intelligence espionage was unable to forge Soviet “internal passports” so well that they would have been taken for genuine. Besides, the forged data would have been absent in files of the Soviet police.
But if the Western intelligence-espionage agencies were unable to carry out intelligence-espionage in countries like Soviet Russia, what was the content of those CIA reports that the CIA submitted to the U.S. president, discussed with the Congress, and given away as copies to whoever requested them?
Their content was the Soviet propaganda, which the CIA copied from the Soviet press, and which corresponded to the “good U.S.–Soviet relations” at the time. I recognized the Soviet propaganda at a glance, since I had grown up in that environment, and part of my early spiritual development was to find how mendacious it was.
Without Western intelligence-espionage within a state-slave country like today’s China, the West remains blind and doomed. But The New York Times did not even mention my article of 1978, and neither William Safire’s membership in the East Side Conservative Club, nor my membership on its advisory board, nor Tom Bolan’s drawing attention to the crucial importance of my article had any effect.
But the understanding of the life-or-death importance of Western intelligence-espionage in the age of state-slave societies and of post-nuclear super weapons is probably more significant than all that The New York Times has ever published in the past half a century, Safire’s Op-Ed page columns including.
I have noticed over the past few years a kind of nervousness on the part of the newspaper. The paper offers to deliver its Friday, Saturday, and Sunday issues for a little more than the old newsstand price of the Sunday issue alone.
In 1993, The New York Times had 757,000 readers, and by 2006, the number fell to 529,000. In February of 2004 The New York Times stock price was $49, and in February of 2008, it was $14 — a drop to less than one-third its previous price! There has been an offer to buy The New York Times. It was speculated that since The New York Times cannot regain its erstwhile glory, its owners may be willing to sell it.
The New York Times attained its highest prestige when there was no Internet, and it was assumed that every serious communication must be sold in print on paper and must be long and boring. Weekly or monthly small-format daily magazines entertained those riding to or from work in subways or buses. But even daily issues of The New York Times were too cumbersome to read on the way to work or back home.
As for its Sunday issue, it was certainly intended for professors or those who imagined themselves professors and read the Sunday issue of The New York Times as seriously as they would read Kant.
The advance of radio, television, and the Internet has been irresistible, however. As I mentioned William Safire in this column, I looked him up in my 1,004-page “New York Times Almanac,” published in 2007 and presented on the cover as “The World’s Most Comprehensive and Authoritative Almanac.” I found that the Almanac devoted to The New York Times one paragraph in small print (Page 133) about the publication of the “Pentagon Papers” and Nixon’s failed attempt to punish legally The New York Times for this publication.
No New York Times columnist, editor, or reporter, is even mentioned. The Almanac is a one-volume non-alphabetical hodge-podge, totally useless. On the other hand, the name “William Safire,” which I pulled up in the Yahoo! of my computer, brought many pages about Safire. Who then needs “The New York Times [?] Almanac”?
I was not surprised that according to Nielsen Net Ratings, Newsmax.com has advanced above the Chicago Sun-Times and The Washington Times. The 19th-century tabloids are going out, and the future belongs to the Internet.
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