The second interview of David Talbot on Democracy Now.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Our guest is David Talbot. His book is The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. He’s the founder and former CEO and editor-in-chief of Salon. Let’s start with the title, The Devil’s Chessboard. Why did you call it that, David?
DAVID TALBOT:The Devil’s Chessboard refers to the fact that the Dulles brothers—John Foster Dulles, who’s secretary of state under Eisenhower, and his brother, Allen Dulles, who I focus on, head of the CIA—they loved to play chess with each other. They would go at it for hours, even when Allen Dulles was about to be married. He kept his wife-to-be waiting around while the two brothers went at it. And they tended to look at the world as their chessboard. People were pawns to be manipulated. So I felt that was a—you know, an apt metaphor.
But, Amy, I wanted to go back to what you were talking about—alternative media—before this. I think—I just want to underline what you were saying about how essential it is to have countervoices. They are the lifeblood of democracy. And shows like yours and public radio are just essential. You know, my book is having a hard time getting through the media gatekeepers. They don’t want to hear about this, and in part because the CIA, particularly under Allen Dulles, but even today, are masters at manipulating the media. I’ve been on shows and been bumped. I was scheduled to be on shows at the last minute, strangely. I was supposed to write something for Politico magazine. Someone there called the book a “masterpiece.” They wanted the book to be, you know, showcased there. Instead, I was bumped from Politico. And an article based on recently leaked CIA documents—conveniently leaked—was written by a former New York Timesreporter, Phil Shenon, and what he did was to basically accuse Fidel Castro of assassinating President Kennedy. This has been a CIA disinformation line for years. So the CIA is still manipulating the media, and it’s essential that independent media exists, like this. […]