I. F. Stone
| I. F. Stone |
|Born||December 24, 1907|
|Died||June 18, 1989 (Age 81)|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
One of the great reporters of the 20th century, I.F. Stone, told journalism students never to forget that "All governments lie."
I. F. Stone (Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone) was a politically progressive American investigative journalist, writer, and author. Carefully analyzing only official sources, he was able to draw conclusions that were remarkably prescient, including how the Korean war started and the Gulf of Tonkin false flag incidient, proving his statement that "All governments lie".
In 1953, Stone started his own political paper, the I. F. Stone's Weekly. Over the next few years Stone led the attack on McCarthyism, racial discrimination in the United States, Stalinist show trials and other issues. The I. F. Stone's Weekly, the predecessor of today's independent internet media, had a circulation of 70,000 at its maximum, but ill-health forced Stone to cease publication in 1971.
Stone went from a young iconoclast in the 1930s to an icon during the Vietnam War. In the fifties, he spoke to mere handfuls who dared surface to protest Cold War loyalty oaths and witch hunts. A decade later, he spoke to half a million who massed for anti-vietnam War rallies. He became world famous.
In The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1950–51, Stone said that South Korea had provoked North Korea to war, by way of continual guerrilla attacks across the border (38th parallel) into the north of Korea, and that, thus goaded, the North Koreans eventually counterattacked, and invaded the South, providing the official casus belli (June 25, 1950) required for Korean reunification. Stone asserted that such cross-border attacks, authorized by the South Korean government, were shaped by U.S. foreign policy for the worldwide containment of communism, which was advocated by foreign minister John Foster Dulles, realized in the field by General Douglas MacArthur, U.S. commander in the Pacific Ocean military theater, and countenanced by Syngman Rhee, the strongman President of South Korea.
Showing a blind spot, Stone was a passionate supporter of the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who killed President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on 22nd November, 1963. In the first issue after the assassination Stone wrote: "It is always dangerous to draw rational inferences from the behavior of a psychopath like Oswald." On the publication of the Warren Commission Report Stone defended it in the I. F. Stone's Weekly, stating that "I believe the Commission has done a first-rate job, on a level that does our country proud and is worthy of so tragic an event. I regard the case against Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone killer of the President as conclusive."
Gulf of Tonkin incident
In 1964, using evidence drawn from a close reading and analysis of published accounts, Stone was the only American journalist to challenge President Lyndon B. Johnson's account of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. During the 1960s, Stone continued to criticize the Vietnam War. At its peak in the 1960s, the Weekly only had a circulation of 70,000, but it was regarded as very influential.
After his death, the intelligence academia spent a significant effort to paint him a Soviet agent, as can be witnessed in his Wikipedia page. The attacks are based on two sources. Stone had, from time to time, lunched with a Soviet Embassy press attache named Kalugin. There is no evidence that Stone knew that Kalugin was working for the KGB but he was. The other main source is descriptions in the Venona cables of a Soviet agent that might have been Stone.
The trial of Socrates
Showing that lies and omissions in historiography is not a modern phenomenon, Stone wrote a remarkable book in 1978, The Trial of Socrates. In the dominant history writing started by Plato, Socrates was made a secular martyred saint. By reexamining all the source material for himself in the original classical Greek, Stone showed how Socrates wanted to be sentenced to death, to justify his philosophic opposition to the Athenian democracy of that time.
|The Legacy of I. F. Stone - Part 2|
|The Legacy of I. F. Stone - Part 1|