Editor of Major German Newspaper Says He Planted Stories for the CIA



Becoming the first credentialed, well-known media insider to step forward and state publicly that he was secretly a “propagandist,” an editor of a major German daily has said that he personally planted stories for the CIA.

Saying he believes a medical condition gives him only a few years to live, and that he is filled with remorse, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, said in an interview that he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war.

Dr. Ulfkotte says the corruption of journalists and major news outlets by the CIA is routine, accepted, and widespread in the western media, and that journalists who do not comply either cannot get jobs at any news organization, or find their careers cut short.

Dr. Ulfkotte is the author of a book currently available only in German, “Bought Journalists” (Kopp 2014.) Aged 55, he was also once an advisor to the government of German Chancellor Helmet Kohl.

The book has become a bestseller in Germany but, in a bizarre twist which Ulfkotte says characterizes the disconnect caused by CIA control of the western media, the book cannot be reported on.

Ulfkotte says:

“No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about [my] book. Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about.”

Among the stories Ulfkotte says he was ordered to plant in his newspaper over the years was a story that Libyan President Moammar Gaddafi was building poison gas factories in 2011. Ulfkotte also says he was an eyewitness to Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas against Iranians in the war between Iran and Iraq, but that the editors he worked for at the time were not interested, because Iraq was a US ally at the time.

Ulfkotte says he is better positioned to come forward than many journalists because he does not have children who could be threatened. Ulfkotte told the Russian newspaper Russian Insider (RI):

“When I told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Ulfkotte’s nwspaper) that I would publish the book, their lawyers sent me a letter threatening with all legal consequences if I would publish any names or secrets – but I don’t mind. You see, I don’t have children to take care of. And you must know I was severely injured during the gas attack I witnessed in Iran in 1988. I’m the sole German survivor from a German poison gas attack. I’m still suffering from this. I’ve had three heart attacks. I don’t expect to live for more than a few years.”

Ulfkotte says that remorse of having “lied” to mass audiences over the years drove him to come forward. He told RI that he was:

“taught to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public.”

Ulfkotte says:

“I’m ashamed I was part of it. Unfortunately I cannot reverse this.”

Among the admissions that Ulfkotte makes in the interview are putting his own name to articles completely written by intelligence agencies. He said:

“I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.”

Ulfkotte detailed the pattern of cajolery and outright bribery used by the CIA and other US-allied intelligence agencies, for the purpose of advancing political agendas. Ulfkotte said:

“once you’re connected, you make friends with selected Americans. You think they are your friends and you start cooperating. They work on your ego, make you feel like you’re important. And one day one of them will ask you ‘Will you do me this favor’…”

Ulfkotte noted that a journalists on international press trips paid for by organizations close to the government are unlikely to submit a storyline not favorable to the sponsor.

Of the gassing of Iranians he had witnessed in the Eighties, Ulfkoppe said:

“they asked me to hand over the photo’s that I had made to the German association of chemical companies in Frankfurt, Verband der Chemischen Industrie. This poison gas that had killed so many Iranians was made in Germany.”

In an interview with Russia Today, Ulfkotte said that it was “not right” what he had done, and that his fear was that politicians were actively driving the world toward war:

“it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe. … I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too. … We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war. … I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic, and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…”

In his book “The CIA and the Media,” Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein quotes William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Baeder said:

“There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level.”

Bernstein writes:

“The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.”

Ulfkotte was on the staff of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from 1999 to 2003, according to hisWikipedia entry. He won the civic prize from the Annette Barthelt Foundation in 2003.

Dr Udo Ulfkotte, journalist and author, on RT



Western Journalists Used As ‘Puppets’ of Western Intelligence: Former Newspaper Editor

MI6 HQ in London

MI6 HQ in London


FRANKFURT, October 10 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – Many journalists working in the UK and across Europe are “being used as puppets” of Western intelligence agencies, Dr Udo Ulfkotte, a former Frankfurter Allgemeine German newspaper Editor told RIA Novosti Friday.

“German and UK journalists from the mainstream media have always been used as non-official cover. That means they have been used as puppets of the intelligence services because they could freely travel and claim there were just journalists,” Ulfkotte said.

“There is an interference of intelligence services with the mainstream media across Europe,” he added.

Dr Ulfkotte, who worked as a journalist for 25 years, 17 of those with Frankfurter Allgemeine – one of Germany’s most well-known newspaper titles, claims to have worked himself, in a journalistic capacity, for the US Central Intelligence Agency.

“This has historical reasons and started shortly after World War II when the Cold War began. The mainstream media in the western countries had to be anti-Soviet and pro-American,” a former Frankfurter Allgemeine editor explained.

Ulfkotte noted that no German publications like BILD or Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung would have got a license after World War II if they had not been pro-US.

“If their cover was blown the intelligence service running them could always claim they had no idea what they were doing,” the journalist added.

BBC investigative reporter Peter Taylor has also detailed how British intelligence infiltrated the mainstream media in the UK. In a documentary film which Taylor wrote and presented, called “True spies”, the BBC journalist said, that “all the conspiracy theories about the security services tapping phones and so on that we all dismissed, turned out to be true. They infiltrated everyone and everything, even Fleet Street and the BBC. The files they had were vast.”

Taylor said BBC journalists deemed to be “subversive” had their personnel files marked with a green Christmas tree stamp that would alert senior BBC management and prevent them from covering stories deemed “sensitive” to UK national security. BBC journalists were also routinely asked to sign the Official Secrets Act before being offered an employment contract.

“UK journalists have always been used as embedded writers for the intelligence community,” Ulfkotte proceeded.

“I remember a good old friend of mine from The Economist who worked in Frankfurt and was in fact the resident [operative] of MI6 in the Rhein-Main-Area (the area around Frankfurt). He was a very good friend of Stella Rimington who had been in charge of the MI5 from 1992 to 1996,” claimed the reporter.

Last month Ulfkotte told the RT channel that he had decided to tell the truth about Western intelligence service control of the corporate media fearing a war may break out between the West and Russia on the back of the anti-Russian propaganda being broadcast and printed by Western journalists.

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia,” Ulfkotte said. “This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say… it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia.”

Asked by RIA Novosti what advice he could give to journalists trying to resist approaches by western intelligence Ulfkotte said, that as he had been bribed by western intelligence services in the past he specifically asks journalists not to be “lured by the honey pots.”

“Intelligence services never approach you and say, “Hello, would you like to work for me? They cover up, but try to win you over with money or enticements you cannot afford,” the former editor stressed.

Ulfkotte recalled that he was accepting golden watches or five star holidays and finally found himself in the trap.

“So the first is to use your brain and think, why is a stranger offering you things that you cannot afford? Secondly, don’t go to the honey traps of the “transatlantic organizations” – keep your distance from the Council on Foreign Relations, Aspen Institute and so on, as they are all related to the intelligence community,” he advised.

“Non-Official Cover” – Respected German Journalist Blows Whistle on How the CIA Controls the Media




131404“I was bribed by billionaires, I was bribed by the Americans to report…not exactly the truth.” – Udo Ulfkotte, former editor of one of Germany’s main daily publications, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Some readers will see this and immediately dismiss it as Russian propaganda since the interview appeared on RT. This would be a serious mistake.

Whether you want to admit it or not, CIA control of the media in the U.S. and abroad is not conspiracy theory, it is conspiracy fact.

Carl Bernstein, who is best known for his reporting on Watergate, penned a 25,000 word article in Rolling Stone after spending six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. Below is an excerpt, but you can read the entire thing here.

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

Like any good intelligence agency, the CIA learned from its mistakes upon being exposed, and has since adjusted tactics. This is where the concept of “non-official cover” comes into play. The term was recently described by German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, in a blistering RT interview. Mr. Ulfkotte was previously the editor for one of Germany’s main dailies, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), so he is no small fry.

“Non-official cover” occurs when a journalist is essentially working for the CIA, but it’s not in an official capacity. This allows both parties to reap the rewards of the partnership, while at the same time giving both sides plausible deniability. The CIA will find young journalists and mentor them. Suddenly doors will open up, rewards will be given, and before you know it, you owe your entire career to them. That’s essentially how it works. But don’t take it from me…




If this peaked your curiosity, read about Operation Mockingbird.

Also see my post: How Hollywood Became “Propagandist in Chief” by John Pilger

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger