These deaths occurred during the Obama administration, and every other before then. Back in the Civil War, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman hated reporters because he believed they were spies and served the interests of the Confederacy, directly or indirectly. But yes, some were. To this day, there are journalists that are indeed spies because of their access to influential leaders. Most journos are not spooks, to be sure. We learned this from the late Udo Ulfkotte, an editor at a major German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . He used to work for the CIA (non-official cover, or NOC) but later spoke out against their efforts to start a war with Russia, and in his last book, he revealed it is a truly dangerous trade. NOCs, as they call such assets, are screwed if they ever get caught. The state disavows them, so coming out was a very courageous thing to do. Apparently, it cost him dearly.
In espionage, agents under non-official cover (NOC) are operatives who assume covert roles in organizations without official ties to the government for which they work. Such agents or operatives are typically abbreviated in espionage lingo as a NOC (pronounced knock). These agents are also known as "illegals". Non-official cover is contrasted with official cover, where an agent assumes a position at an otherwise benign department of their government, such as the diplomatic service. This provides the agent with official diplomatic immunity, thus protecting them from the steep punishments normally meted out to captured spies. Upon discovery of an official cover agent's secret hostile role, the host nation often declares the agent persona non grata and orders them to leave the country.
Agents under non-official cover do not have this "safety net", and if captured or charged they are subject to severe criminal punishments, up to and including execution. Agents under non-official cover are also usually trained to deny any connection with their government, thus preserving plausible deniability, but also denying them any hope of diplomatic legal assistance or official acknowledgment of their service. Sometimes, entire front companies or strawman entities are established in order to provide false identities for agents.
Source: The Free Dictionary
So when NOCs are caught, or sacrifice their identity, or they are betrayed, they are the unnamed agents that end up on this wall here...
The War Merchants
In a recent article at The Intercept, on September 4, 2014, we see in The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication that some assets will work for free.
“A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.
“I’m working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that can present a good opportunity for you guys,” Dilanian wrote in one email to a CIA press officer, explaining that what he intended to report would be “reassuring to the public” about CIA drone strikes. In another, after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the flack: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”
It is for this reason that it is no surprise you are seeing reporters at NBC, and elsewhere, suddenly cry crocodile tears for the sacred and inviolable lives of journalists. Someone's gonna have to pay for Udo's peace-mongering, is that it? Truth is, if they're in the espionage business, they should know better. They're not even being discreet about it, they're hysterical. They are essentially saying, openly, "please do not kill us, President Trump." Why? Do tell, what could they have done to deserve such a thing?
Because Udo did speak out, he knew his time would be short, and was not afraid of the risk.
In the end, however, if you are in the group of journos tasked with starting World War III with Russia, as Ulfkotte warned us, you're not the hero you think you are. And honestly, if Trump, or anyone else wants to keep you from starting World War III, it is not likely many will be worried too much about your safety.
"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."
"Most of the journalists you see in foreign countries … European or American journalists … like me in the past, are so-called non-official cover."
"The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. 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..."
I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I’ve been educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. … The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. 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, 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. …
Six times my house was searched, … I have [had] three heart attacks, [but] I have no children, so … it’s worth for the truth [for other journalists, whose family can be threatened, not only themselves].
The German media, especially, my colleagues …, day by day, write against the Russians, [these journalists] who are in transatlantic organizations, and who are supported by the United States to do so. …[4:40 on the video] Most of the journalists you see in foreign countries … European or American journalists …, like me in the past, are so-called non-official cover. … Non-official cover means what? You do work for an intelligence agency, … but … when they [the public] find out that you are not only a journalist but a spy too, they [the CIA] will never say this was one of our guys. … So, I have helped them in several situations, and I feel ashamed for that. … I feel ashamed that I … was bribed by billionaires, I was bribed by the Americans, not to report exactly the truth. … [9:17] Sometimes the intelligence agencies, they come to your office, and want you to write an article. … I just remember [for example] that the German foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst — it is just a sister organization of the Central Intelligence Agency, see it was founded by the American intelligence agency — … came to my office, and they wanted me to write an article about Libya and about Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. … They gave me all these secret informations, and they just wanted me to sign the article with my name. I did that. It was published in the Frankfurter Algemeine, … it was about how he secretly tried to build a poison gas factory, … it was a story that was printed worldwide days later, but I had no information on that [the CIA wrote it]. [11:25] A very good example [what happens] if you say no [to the CIA]: … So [regarding the particular employee who said no], what happened is that he lost his job. [12:40] Six times my house was searched, … I have [had] three heart attacks, [but] I have no children, so … it’s worth for the truth [for other journalists, whose family can be threatened, not only themselves].
Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January of 2017, age 56.
Then we have the honest journos that were never involved in espionage but clearly murdered. Why isn't the media weeping for Gary Webb? Even Hollywood had the decency to make a movie, Kill the Messenger, about the late reporter. But to their eternal shame, the respected establishment reporters were all part of the concerted character assassination efforts. The LA Times assigned six reporters in an attempt to discredit his reporting on the CIA.
Gary Webb’s so-called “suicide” begs some serious inquiry on the motives and integrity of the coroner. Who paid him to say a man could shoot himself twice in the head? Who killed Gary Webb? There’s a new generation of reporters now so they might pick up the slack, and cover what the national news agencies, the real "fake news," refuses to cover.
Or what about Michael Hastings, who brought down Gen. Stanley McChrystas but then died in a mysterious car crash at 33 when he was working on a profile of then CIA Directer John Brennen? Here's bit from his Wikipedia entry:
Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke said that what is known about the crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack". He was quoted as saying "There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car. So if there were a cyber attack on [Hastings'] car — and I'm not saying there was, I think whoever did it would probably get away with it." Earlier the previous day, Hastings indicated that he believed he was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In an email to colleagues, which was copied to and released by Hastings' friend, Army Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, Hastings said that he was "onto a big story", that he needed to "go off the radar", and that the FBI might interview them.WikiLeaks announced that Hastings had also contacted Jennifer Robinson, one of its lawyers, a few hours prior to the crash, and the LA Weekly reported that he was preparing new reports on the CIA at the time of his death. His widow Elise Jordan said his final story was a profile of CIA Director John O. Brennan. The FBI released a statement denying that Hastings was being investigated.
Other journalists that paid the ultimate price. Andrew Breitbart died of a "heart attack" after suggesting John Podesta was involved in a pedophilia ring. Another whistleblower, Ted Gunderson of the FBI, died of arsenic poisoning, as did Breitbart's coroner. To quote the RT article: "Michael Cormier, 61, passed away on April 20, the Los Angeles Times reports this week. Although Cormier’s death is only being publicized now, the timing of actual passing actually came within hours of the release of the preliminary autopsy report of Breitbart." But Breitbart had the last laugh, albeit posthumously, as his news site became a trusted and powerful influence in the 2016 election. His partner Steve Bannon would go on to be President Trump's chief strategist.
Make a Wish
But on a final note, I would appeal to President Trump that he heed the dying wish of a young cancer patient I spoke to this morning. The wisdom of an innocent child never ceases to amaze me. He asked me to pass this along, as he breathed his last...
"Please, please tell President Trump, please tell him don't ever kill those nice newspapermen. That is my dying wish," he said weakly, flipping off Stelter on the hospital room's tv set, which was tuned to CNN's Reliable Sources explicitly against his wishes. "All except for CNN's Brian Stelter, he can kill him. Drone the idiot, run him over with a tank, ask Trump to beat him with his golf clubs. Seriously, I hate that balding fat fuck, that self-righteous ambulatory excrement. I mean, he's not even telegenic, right? so there's no reason to look at him, let alone listen to him. Don't you want to just punch him in the face out of a sincere and heartfelt desire to improve his appearance?"
"Yes, I do, very much. I will try my best to pass that along." I said.
"Yes, please. Please ask the President to kill that bad, bad man because the people at Make a Wish haven't wrote me back." He slowly closed his eyes, smiled, and then flatlined.
Journalist Michael Wolff, not a fan of President Trump, clearly holds back a strong urge to punch Stelter in the face.