By Cliff Kincaid | June 16, 2010
|Cronkite, who retired as CBS Evening News anchorman in 1981 but continued to speak publicly about current events, was a natural target of the Soviets and their cause.|
The late CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite is named in a just-released FBI document from 1986 as being targeted in a Soviet “active measures” campaign against President Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy. Cronkite is named as a possible member of a U.S. delegation that would sign a pro-Soviet “People’s Peace Treaty.”
Cronkite, once known as “the most trusted man in television news” because of his influence during the time when three network news programs dominated the national dissemination of news and information, bears a great deal of responsibility for the American military defeat in Vietnam and the communist conquest of that Southeast Asian country.
The term “active measures” in the FBI document carries special significance, since it designates Soviet intelligence operations to damage the United States and further the interest of Soviet foreign policy. The most common were political influence operations in which high-profile U.S. and Western political and public figures were used to promote Soviet objectives.
Released through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Cronkite documents include an FBI cover letter, dated June 25, 1986, which designates an attached internal memorandum from the “Campaign for a People’s Peace Treaty” as part of a “Soviet active measures” campaign. The document is addressed to the FBI director and the attention of the Bureau’s intelligence division...