Altschul: 100 Years of Propaganda and Monetary Dominance from Cold War to MTV to 9/11

Altschul: 100 Years of Propaganda And Monetary Dominance

"The history of the press demonstrates that newspapers and the more modern variations of the press have tended to serve the selfish interests of the paymasters, while at the same time perpetuating the image of a press operating in the service of the consumers of the news. To expect that the news media will make a dramatic U-turn and scoff at the wishes of the paymasters is to engage in the wildest kind of utopian fantasies."
-J. Herbert Altscull, AGENTS OF POWER:The Role of the News Media in Human Affairs 
(1984, p. 299).
J. Herbert Altschull was Bureau Chief of the Bonn office for the Associated Press/Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany; Instructed writing seminars at John Hopkins University; Wrote free lance for many publishers including Readers Digest and The New York Times; News Analyst for King TV Won 3 Emmys/Seattle, Washington.[*]

I intend to demonstrate within this post that Mr. Altschull's aforementioned thesis is correct, by pointing out the propaganda of the Altschul family. The Altschules, I believe, represent both demographics, "Media" and "Paymaster". I researched one branch of the Altschul family and found an entire century's worth of media manipulation, banking, and propaganda, spanning from pre-WWI to MK ULTRA and Operation Mockingbird, all the way to 9/11 and today.

Lehman/Altschul Family Tree from the 1995 Lehman Family Directory[*]
(notice the twisted branches)

Charles Altschul (1857-1927), Frank Altschul's father, was born in London. He moved to San Francisco in 1877, where he became the eighth employee of Lazard Frères. He became manager of the London, Paris, and American Bank in 1895, and was elected President of the American Bankers' research Association in 1900. He resigned from both positions in 1900 to become a partner of Lazard Freres in New York, and retired from business in 1916. In 1897, he was appointed to a commission "to forumulate a plan for currency reforms" by the Finance Committee of the Executive Committee of the Monetary Convention at Saratoga. 

In March, 1918 Charles Altschul worked closely with Government sponsored United States Committee on Public Information to mitigate anti-German public sentiment and to persuade Americans who were doubtful of US policies towards Germany in World War I by writting the pamphlet,  German Militarism and Its German Criticsissued by the Committee on Public Information, Washington D.C.[*]
The Committee on Public Information, also known as the CPI or the Creel Committee, was an independent agency of the government of the United Statescreated to influence U.S. public opinion regarding American participation in World War I. Over just 26 months, from April 14, 1917, to June 30, 1919, it used every medium available to create enthusiasm for the war effort and enlist public support against foreign and perceived domestic attempts to undercut America's war aims. It primarily used propaganda techniques to accomplish these goals.[*] George Creel (chairman of CPI) urged President Woodrow Wilson to create a government agency to coordinate "not propaganda as the Germans defined it, but propaganda in the true sense of the word, meaning the 'propagation of faith."[3] He was a journalist with years of experience on the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News before accepting Wilson's appointment to the CPI.

In 1917 Charles Altschul published The American Revolution in Our School Text-books: An Attempt to Trace the Influence of Early School Education on the Feelings towards England in the United States. The book attempted to measure attitude toward England in treatment of the Revolutionary war in textbooks and its relation to American involvement in World War I. Basically, he tried to get the propaganda tuned up from being anti-British to being more pro-British.[1]

In 1919 Charles Altschul was granted a license by the War Trade Board under section 5 (a) of the Trading with the Enemy Act to transmit the sum of $1000 to Otto Fuerth.[*] 

Son on Charles Altschul; married Helen Lehman Goodhart; father of Arthur Altschul. 

Frank Altschul, an investment banker who was a senior partner at Lazard Freres & Company until 1945 and chairman of General Investors Corporation Inc. Mr. Altschul was closely connected with the Lehman family of New York. His sister, Edith, became the wife of Herbert H. Lehman, the late United States Senator and Governor of New York, and Mr. Altschul's wife was Mrs. Lehman's niece, the former Helen Lehman Goodhart.

Frank Altschul graduated from Yale in 1908, and Yale was to become the recipient of millions of dollars of Altschul largesse, along with his famous collections of rare books and papers. 
Mr. Altschul joined Lazard Freres shortly after leaving Yale. During World War I he served as an Army captain in France. He is one of few American’s ever to receive the French Legion of Honor (awarded in recognition of his aiding the French government in early 1924, by devising a scheme to stabilize the French franc, arresting and reversing what seemed like its inevitable downward fall).  During the 1930's, he served on the governing committee of the New York Stock Exchange and as  director of the Rockefeller-controlled, Chase National Bank.[3] . In 1943, he became Lazard Freres' senior partner, replacing his father, Charles upon his retirement. He was a member of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, director of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and vice chairman of the National Planning Association. Altschul wrote Toward Building a Better America (1949), in which he proposed a master plan for U.S. economic expansion.

In 1920 Frank Altschul helped found the Council on Foreign Relations. Frank Altschul was a Council Director from 1934-1972 and he held the positions of secretary and was the Vice President from 1951-1971. From 1951 into the early 70s Frank Altschul chaired the finance committee, which was in charge of fundraising for the Council on Foreign Relations.[*]

(Above)On April 3, 1951 Herbert H. Lehman sent a letter to President Harry S. Truman recommending Frank Altschul, "In hope that he would be given important work to do in government service in this critical time"[*]. A similar letter was also sent to Secretary of State[*].  Response below[*].

Frank Altshul was a member of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee[*], from 1941-1962. Arthur Altschul, Frank's son, was a member of AJC from 1954-1961.[*]

In 1943, before the end of WWII and before the creation of the United Nations, the AJC released its Thirty-Sixth Annual Report, in which it endorsed empowering the UN to facilitate a Zionist settling of Palestine.[*]

The Scientific Department of the American Jewish Committee was formed to investigate the extent and the causes of antisemitism in the United States, to develop testing methods by which the effectiveness of techniques of combating antisemitism may be evaluated and to integrate eventually its theoretical research with the practical program of the American Jewish Committee. The department argues that (1) effective counter-propaganda must reach real motivations, (2) realistic approaches encounter increasing difficulties and (3) new fields of educational work can be opened by scientific research.

On December 30 1953 the AJC released the report entitled, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE  DEPARTMENT OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ASSESSING TECHNIQUES FOR CHANGE: Mass Media, Group Process and Intergroup Contact. The following is an excerpt from the chapter entitled, ASSESSING TECHNIQUES FOR CHANGE, by Mark Vosk [*]

The basic question with which we are all concerned is that of change
change in opinion, in attitude, in individual behavior, in group behavior.
There is thus, to my mind at least, one essential difference between our
problem and those which usually confront the educator or teacher. Ours is
the task of persuasion, of changing or overlaying, so to speak, a previously
structured pattern of response. Those whom we wish to persuade do not come
to us "to learn" (I am not now speaking of training workshops or associations
of like-minded people). They have no wish to acquire new skills or new know
ledge and certainly evince no desire to change their attitudes. In most cases
they do not come to us at all, it is we who must approach them, establish
communication with them - through mass media or other means at our disposal.

When it comes to intergroup relations, such people often hold opinions
and attitudes, perhaps behave towards their neighbors in ways which most of
us would consider undemocratic and tension-producing. Our problem then is
to eliminate these old ways of response to intergroup contact and to substitute
new forms, which to the best of our knowledge make for harmonious living. In
some respects (the analogy will be familiar to those of you who use tape
recorders), it resembles erasing an old sound track on a tape before substituting a new recording.

One additional remark by way of introduction - this morning, we are to
examine the assumptions made in everyday intergroup relations •rork and evaluate the techniques of action used, in terms of existing research. Actually, the apparent dichotomy between assumptions and research is not so rigid as some would suppose• Ideally, today's findings should be tomorrow's assumptions, In practice there is sometimes a time lag to be taken into account. Often too, there is a problem in effective communication and persuasion. Practitioners or, for that matter, social scientists are not always more vailing to give up long cherished forms of behavior than are the people they are themselves trying to influence. But, time lag, resistance and all, research does influence assumptions and some of the findings I mention have already acquired the status of "assumptions"

Suppose then we consider some of the assumptions made - both explicit and
implicit when the mass media are used to communicate with the people we wish
to influence.

The most obvious one is that mass media "reach" masses and hence, that a
communication whatever it be, is heard, viewed or read by great numbers of
people, many times the number who could be reached by face-to-face contact.
This assumption has its foundation in some well-known facts. The daily news
papers of our country reach nine out of ten adults in the population, the
radio an even higher proportion. Comic books, alternately the bane and the
boon of parents, are read (if that is what one does to comic books) by nine
out of ten children, A single issue of LIFE magazine reaches more than a
fifth of the adult population of the United States, Within the space of six
weeks, some sixty million Americans see at least one issue of this magazine,
Leading radio programs, Jack Benny or Amos and Andy, are heard by audiences
of 17 or 18 million listeners, while the more popular TV programs such as the
Colgate Comedy Hour or "Your Show of Shows" are seen by even greater numbers; a recent count put the number at 28 million.

Potentially, the audience indeed appears to be enormous. However this
optimistic appraisal needs some qualification. To begin with, research has
shown that the potential audience for any message is reduced by a process of
self-selection. By and large, people view, listen to, or read the kinds of
propaganda to which they are favorably disposed beforehand \ ״
People with convictions on any subject., political or social, tend to read
the periodicals which reflect their views, Lazarsfeld (2) reports that when
a magazine or radio program carries a program setting forth the virtues of a
minority group a large proportion of the audience consists of the minority
which is being praised* The intended targets of the message are usually
conspicious by their absence.

There is moreover a certain overlap in audiences. People who have read
a book tend to go to see the movie made from it. People who read serious
literature listen to serious radio programs, those who go in for lighter
fiction pick soap opera on radio or TV, Then there is the simple fact of
prominence of display, which can insure the fact that a message will be seen,
or heard. Generally speaking, the content of intergroup relations communications, even when prepared by experts, precludes their being featured in newspapers. On radio or television, the demands of commerce and audience appeal reserve the favored listening times for more entertaining programs than ours.

In effect the peak audiences reached by the media to which the term mass
applies, are attained only by specially popular programs or favored portions
of newspapers. For other communications, the "masses" are considerably reduced in number.

A second and easily understandable assumption sometimes made in the use of mass media is that communications on these media can and do reduce prejudice or discrimination or both. In other words, such communications can bring about changes in individual or group behavior in the area of intergroup relations. Put so broadly the assumption almost begs for a negative answer. Enough is known about the deep-seated nature of prejudice to seriously question the intended effect of mass media communication. Flowerman (3) and others have discussed some of the factors which reduce the effectiveness of mass propaganda against bigotry, such as lack of control of the media, the prevalence of anti-democratic propaganda, selective listening, the nature of the issues involved and others. Yet, despite the operation of these factors it would be idle to deny that mass media do have some effect upon public opinion and attitudes. The real question is what effect, upon whom and under what conditions? Berelson's restatement of the broad assumption of communication effects "Some kinds of communication on some kinds of issues, brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions, have some kind of effect", suggests one kind of reformulation which would facilitate application of pertinent research findings.

Numerous earlier studies of propaganda pieces were concerned with the
character of the specific message itself, its comprehensibility and the
measure of success it had in swaying its audience. Preoccupation with the
varying degrees of effect achieved by the same or similar messages on different
media is also manifest in many of these investigations. Movies, magazine and
newspaper articles, cartoons, radio programs, car cards, have all come in for
their share of study. As a result of these separate investigations - many of
which are undoubtedly familiar to you - a number of general principles have
been enunciated which have had their effect not only upon the nature of
propaganda output itself, but on the course of subsequent experimental study
of the mass media. In more recent years, researchers have taken greater
experimental notice of those situational and social factors within which the
process of communication occurs.

It had for long been a matter of common experience that the conditions
under which a message is heard or seen had a good deal to do with its effect.
Somehow, though, this theoretical and practical knowledge had become obscured, partly by the day-to-day necessity bf evaluation of particular pieces of I propaganda* But the evaluation process itself only underlined once again the
importance of more basic elements in the communication process. Take the
example of a study made by our department some years ago of a propaganda film produced during the war by the Army Signal Corps)כ( » The film pictures a
young American stopping to listen to a street-corner demagogue attacking
minority groups. Only when the speaker attacks the hero's own "minority"
group, "the Masons" does he register dismay. A refugee professor also
present, then paints for our hero in a series of flashbacks to Germany the
deadly parallel between Hitler's rise to power and the agitator's harangue*

Our study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the film. In
the course of this evaluation a number of important generalizable findings
emerged. Among them, the influence of selective perception stands out. Messages beamed at particular groups - such as "Catholics are persecuted" - were most successful in reaching Catholics in the audience. The opposite effect, failure to perceive messages not specifically directed to "one's own groups", was also present. Another interesting development was the fact that in an audience
climate which favored reception of a particular message, it was apparently
harder to change the "deviates". On the surface this finding might appear
to be at odds with the well-known influence of group climate upon change in
individual members. Actually there was at least one element in the experimental
situation which differed from the usual "group" study. The audience was not
readily identifiable as a "group". Deviant individuals may well have been
members of groups to which they owed allegiance. But these were groups other than the immediate viewing audience, and undoubtedly had set norms of their own which supported the resistance of our deviants.

The book, The Authoritarian Personality was part of a "Studies in Prejudice" series sponsored by the American Jewish Committee's Department of Scientific Research.[8][9] The Authoritarian Personality is a 1950 sociology book by Theodor W. AdornoElse Frenkel-BrunswikDaniel Levinson, and Nevitt Sanford, researchers working at the University of California, Berkeley, during and shortly after World War II.

Adorno had been a member of the "Frankfurt School", a predominantly Jewish[7] group of philosophers and Marxist theorists who fled Germany when Hitler shut down their Institute for Social Research. Adorno et al. were thus motivated by a desire to identify and measure factors that were believed to contribute to antisemitic and fascist traits. The book was part of a "Studies in Prejudice" series sponsored by the American Jewish Committee's Department of Scientific Research.[8][9]

The Authoritarian Personality "invented a set of criteria by which to define personality traits, ranked these traits and their intensity in any given person on what it called the 'F scale' (F for fascist)."[1]  Some observers have criticized what they saw as a strongly politicized agenda to The Authoritarian Personality. Social critic Christopher Lasch[29] argued that by equating mental health with left-wing politics and associating right-wing politics with an invented “authoritarian” pathology, the book's goal was to eliminate antisemitism by “subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy—by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.”

Joe Atwill has researched The Authoritarian Personality which he ties into MK ULTRA. Here he discusses it with Tim Kelly of Our Interesting Times.

Frank Altschul was a member of National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE), an anti-communist CIA front organization that was formed by Allen Dulles in New York City in 1949. Frank Altschul acted as Treasurer for the committee.[*]

The National Committee for a Free Europe, later known as Free Europe Committee, was an American anti-communist organization which worked for the spreading of American influence in Europe and to oppose the Soviet one. The committee was founded by Allen Dulles, a member of the newly created American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Early board members included General Dwight D. EisenhowerLucius D. ClayCecil B. DeMille, and Henry LuceFrom 1951–52 Charles Douglas Jackson served as its President. The committee was composed of an "A list" of powerful U.S. citizens including former ambassador and first NCFE chairman Joseph Grew; Reader's Digest owner DeWitt Wallace; former diplomat and the co-founder of Public Opinion Quarterly Dewitt Clinton Poole; and prominent New York investment banker Frank AltschulThe organization created and oversaw the anti-communist-propaganda broadcast service Radio Free Europe.


 Frank was, as he told his wife's sister-in-law, Cecily Goodhart in a letter in 1950 about his experience as Chairman and head of RFE radio transmissions, "working from morning until night at radio free Europe, which is supposed to be a propagandist weapon in the Cold War, supplementing the Voice of America in a field in which the Voice must be restrained because it is an agency of the government"[*]

February 9, 1951 Frank Altschul receives a letter from his Personal Assistant regarding
the idea of smuggling radios into communist territories in order to
propagandize "farmers and peasents".[*]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded propaganda broadcasting organization that provides "news", "information", and "analysis" to countries in Eastern EuropeCentral Asia and the Middle East, where it claims "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed".[3] RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation that receives U.S. government funding and is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.[4] Frank Altschul was the Chairman that headed the radio operations [1] Various CIA spooks started at Radio Free Europe, including Paul Henze (an original management team member, from 1952-1958) and Le Cercle attendee, Fritz Ermarth. RFE received funds from the CIA until 1972.[61] The CIA's relationship with the radio stations began to break down in 1967, when Ramparts magazine published an exposé claiming that the CIA was channeling funds to civilian organizations. Further investigation into the CIA's funding activities revealed its connection to both RFE and RL, sparking significant media outrage.[6]

During the Cold WarRadio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters. Radio transmissions into the Soviet Union were regularly jammed by the KGB. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972.[5] During RFE's earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.[6]

In addition to its regular broadcasts, RFE spread broadcasts through a series of operations that distributed leaflets via meteorological balloons; one such operation, Prospero, sent messages to Czechoslovakia.[22] From October 1951 to November 1956, the skies of Central Europe were filled with more than 350,000 balloons carrying over 300 million leaflets, posters, books, and other printed matter.[13] The nature of the leaflets varied, and included messages of support and encouragement to citizens suffering under communist oppression, satirical criticisms of communist regimes and leaders, information about dissident movements and human rights campaigns, and messages expressing the solidarity of the American people with the residents of Eastern European nations. The project served as a publicity tool to solidify RFE's reputation as an unbiased broadcaster.[23]

The Free Europe Committee sent leaflets with balloons from West Germany to the Eastern Bloc countries. Each of the balloons was able to drop 100,000 leaflets. Initially a small cannon was used to cut cords, but as a result of propaganda claiming them to be lethal, a new type of balloon with a timer and motor-powered razor blades was developed.[4]

Frank Altschul was a founding member of The Committee on the Present Danger. The Committee on the Present Danger was formed in 1950 as an initiative of the Department of Defense, at the time of the Korean War. It acted both to influence foreign policy in a more militaristic direction and to manipulate public opinion in support of military interventions. Key figures include,
Harvard President James Conant, former under-secretary of the Army Tracy Vorhees, wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) William "Wild Bill" Donovan, and atomic scientist Vannevar Bush. The committee worked closely with the Truman administration to promote the policy of "containment militarism" outlined in NSC-68,
National Security Council document primarily authored by Paul Nitze of the CFR. The Committee sought to use public pressure to influence debates already underway within the Government, concerning the NSC-68 document in 1950. It lobbied the government  directly and sought to influence public opinion through a propaganda campaign. In 1951 the CPD launched a three-month scare campaign over the NBC network. Every Sunday night thereafter the group used the Mutual Broadcasting System to talk to the nation about the 'present danger' and the need to take action, through radio programs. As a result of efforts such as these both in and out of government, the recommendations of NSC-68 were adopted. President Harry S. Truman adopted a policy of containment militarism and the military budget escalated even more than the targeted factor of three times. The Cold Warand an era of interventionist policies became a political reality in the United States." [6] This iteration of the CPD was disbanded in 1953 when its leaders were offered positions in the Presidential administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower.[*]

CIA Director Allen Dulles' invite to Frank Altschul's Overbrook Estate[*]


Robert Gordon Wasson (September 22, 1898 – December 23, 1986) was an American author, amateur ethnomycologist, and Vice President for Public Relations at J.P. Morgan & Co. [1][2][3][4] In the course of independent research, Wasson made contributions to the fields of ethnobotanybotany, and anthropology. Several of his books were self-published in illustrated, limited editions that have never been reprinted.

Wasson's studies in ethnomycology began during his 1927 honeymoon trip to the Catskill Mountains when his bride, Valentina Pavlovna Guercken (1901–1958), a paediatrician, chanced upon some edible wild mushrooms. Fascinated by the marked difference in cultural attitudes towards fungi in Russia compared to the United States, the couple began field research that led to the publication of Mushrooms, Russia and History in 1957. In the course of their investigations they mounted expeditions to Mexico to study the religious use of mushrooms by the native population, and claimed to have been the first Westerners to participate in a Mazatec mushroom ritual. It was the curandera María Sabina who allowed Wasson to participate in the ritual, and who taught him about the uses and effects of the mushroom. Sabina let him take her picture on the condition that he keep it private, but Wasson nonetheless published the photo along with Sabina's name and the name of the community where she lived.[10] Wasson's 1956 expedition was funded[8] by the CIA's MK-Ultrasubproject 58, as was revealed by documents[*] obtained by John Marks[12] under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents state that Wasson was an 'unwitting' participant in the project (unwitting...sure).[11] The funding was provided under the cover name of the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research (credited by Wasson at the end of his subsequent Life piece about the expedition).

In R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson's book entitled MUSHROOMS RUSSIA AND HISTORYFrank Altschull is credited with providing the printing plate for the illustration below, that was used in their book.[*] This Illistration appears in the book nestled in the middle of text that is quoting Aldous Huxley.
PLATE XX - Napoleonic caricature. courtesy of Frank Altschul, Esq., Overbrook Farm, Stamford, Conn. [*]

 Jan Irvin points out in his artcicle R. Gordon Wasson, The Man, The Legend, The Myth that:
  "Documents from Yale reveal that Wasson had been sharing his mushroom 
research with intelligence officials since at least 1950.[26J Wasson had also sent copies 
of his book Mushrooms, Russia and History to George Kennan[27] and Frank 
Altschul [281 , amongst many others, as soon as copies were available. Kennan worked 
with the OSS (the precursor of the CIA) in Germany, [29] was the Ambassador to the 
U.S.S.R., and also worked with the CFR. There is more on him and Altschul below. It 
would be fascinating to see a complete list of exactly who received the one hundred 
copies of Mushrooms, Russia and History that Wasson gave away. I have a fairly well- 
supported suspicion that many of the receivers belonged to the Century Club, CFR or 
CIA, or a mixture of all three." 
"Altschul was not only a banker, but, like Allen Dulles, was a Director of the CFR 
( 1 944-72 )1 62|, and also served at several of the same CFR meetings that were chaired by 
Wasson himself - where Luce was also present. [63J Altschul was also a member of the 
Century Club[64] , and was also one of those behind such secret operations as Operation 
Mockingbird, a CIA "psychological information campaign against the American 

"On February 17, 1951, Wasson gave a lecture on Russian policy to the Practicing Law 
Institute. He later had 1,000 copies of the lecture published in small book form, titled 
Toward a Russian Policy, { 66] which he published anonymously with Frank Altschul's 
publishing firm, Overbrook Press. Included in Columbia University's Overbrook Press 
collection is Wasson's personal list of people that he had this book sent to, which include: 
Allen W. Dulles, John Foster Dulles, General Dwight Eisenhower, C. D. Jackson, Henry 
Luce, Robert Oppenheimer, David Rockefeller, and Frank Wisner - just to name a few."

"But I should wish you to see the whole talk, which will be appearing shortly in an edition 
being printed by Frank Altschul's Overbrook Press. Since Frank is in constant touch with 
Mr. C. D. Jackson, I suggest you call this fact to Mr. Jackson's attention, if he is 
interested in going ahead with your project.  
~ R. Gordon Wasson"
"Documents also reveal that Luce was a member of the Century Club, an exclusive "art 
club" that Wasson had much ado with and may have held some position with, and which 
was filled with members of the intelligence and banking community. Members such as 
George Kennan, Walter Lippmann and Frank Altschul appear to have been nominated to 
the Century Club by Wasson himself 4211 Graham Harvey in Shamanism says that Luce 
and Wasson were friends, and this is how he came to publish in Life."
"Found in the Frank Altschul archives at Columbia University is a hand- written letter from Masha to 
Altschul thanking him for a weekend they spent together in 1958 after the death of her 
mother, Valentina, who, as it turns out, was also a friend of Altschul. If Masha and 
Altschul were lovers it's not clear, though she would have been about 23 at the time." 

January 20, 1959 

Dear Mr. Altschul, 

Please forgive me for not writing sooner. I do wish to thank you for the lovely time I 
spent with you in the country. I really needed to get away and I cannot think of another 
place I would have enjoyed as much. 

I had a good rest, something I have not had in a long time. It was also comforting to be 
with friends since at that time I was just beginning to feel the real impact of what had 
happened [...] 

Again, I thank you for the wonderful weekend and I'm sorry for the delay. 

Masha [6 11]

The Green Ball was held the night of Oct. 25, 1934, at the Waldorf-Astoria. It was actually a cultural manipulation event, masterminded by Edward Bernaysand disguised as a charity benefit. The ball was to benefit the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Frank Altschul and his wife, Helen Lehman Goodhart Altschul were boxholders at the event. Mrs. Bernays (Doris E. Fleischman) was on the board of the Infirmary, along with Mrs. Frank Altschul. 

The story is that 1930s surveys showed that many women didn't buy Lucky Strike Cigarettes merely because the green color of the package didn't go with their wardrobes, so, in 1934, advertising huckster Edward L. Bernays set out to make green a fashionable color. "Under the auspices of a local charity, Bernays planned a Green Ball and dispatched a well-connected society matron to the Paris couturiers to coax them into providing green gowns for the event. He convinced a leading textile manufacturer to sponsor a Green Fashions Fall luncheon for fashion editors and invited an art historian and a psychologist to expatiate on the significance of green. He organized a Color Fashion Bureau, which disseminated trends to the press, naturally emphasizing the popularity of the color green."

"Using green paper, he concocted a letter-writing campaign to interior decorators, art-industry groups, department stores and clubwomen describing the sudden 'dominance' of green. He induced department stores to feature green dresses and suits in their window displays, and he persuaded the Reinhardt Galleries to hold a "Green Exhibition" of paintings. The result of this six-month flurry: green became the hot new color of fashion."[*]

Bernays speaks about "Green Ball"


The 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état was a covert operation carried out by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that deposed the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz and ended the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944–54. Code-named Operation PBSUCCESS, it installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, the first in a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian rulers in Guatemala.

United Fruit Company (UFC) owned large tracts of land in Guatemala and controlled the railroads, the docks, and the communication systems.[14][15] By 1900 it had become the largest exporter of bananas in the world,[16] and had a monopoly over the Guatemalan banana trade.[15] Historian William Blum describes UFC's role in Guatemala as a "state within a state".[17] The U.S. government was also closely involved with the Guatemalan state under Cabrera, frequently dictating financial policies and ensuring that American companies were granted several exclusive rights.[18] When Cabrera was overthrown in 1920, the U.S. sent an armed force to make certain that the new president remained friendly to it.[19] 

The United Fruit Company (today's Chiquita Brands International) hired Bernays in the early 1940s for the purpose of promoting banana sales within the United States. Promote them he did, by linking bananas to good health and to American interests, and by placing them strategically in the hands of celebrities, in hotels, and other conspicuous places. Bernays also argued that United Fruit needed to put a positive spin on the banana-growing countries themselves, and for this purpose created a front group called the Middle America Information Bureau, which supplied information to journalists and academics.[46] United Fruit shut down the Middle America Information Bureau in 1948 under the new presidency of Thomas Dudley Cabot. Bernays resented this change but stayed on with the company, for a reported annual fee of more than $100,000.[47] Bernays worked on the national press and successfully drummed up coverage of Guatemala’s Communist menace.[48]
The company became alarmed about the political situation in Guatemala after Jacobo Árbenz Guzman became president in March 1951. On March 21, 1951, Bernays told United Fruit’s head of publicity, Edmund Whitman, that Guatemala could reprise Iran’s recent nationalization of British Petroleum:

We recommend that immediate steps be undertaken to safeguard American business interests in Latin American countries against comparable action there. News knows no boundaries today. . . . To disregard the possibilities of the impact of events one upon another is to adopt a head-in-the-sand-ostrich policy.

He recommended a campaign in which universities, lawyers, and the U.S. government would all condemn expropriation as immoral and illegal; the company should use media pressure “to induce the President and State Department to issue a policy pronouncement comparable to the Monroe Doctrine concerning expropriation.” In the following months, the New York Times, the New York Herald TribuneTimeNewsweek, and the Atlantic Monthly had all published articles describing the threat of Communism in Guatemala. A Bernays memo in July 1951 recommended that this wave of media attention should be translated into action by promoting:
(a) a change in present U.S. ambassadorial and consular representation, (b) the imposition of congressional sanctions in this country against government aid to pro-Communist regimes, (c) U.S. government subsidizing of research by disinterested groups like the Brookings Institution into various phases of the problem.[49]
Per Bernays’s strategy, United Fruit distributed favorable articles and an anonymous Report on Guatemala to every member of Congress and to national “opinion molders”.[50][51] They also published a weekly Guatemala Newsletter and sent it to 250 journalists, some of whom used it as a source for their reporting.[51] Bernays formed close relationships with journalists including New York Times reporter Will Lissner at and columnist Walter Winchell.[48][49] In January 1952 he brought a cohort of journalists from various notable newspapers on a tour of Guatemala, sponsored by the company. This technique proved highly effective and was repeated four more times.[51]

Robert Lehman served on the UFC Board whos family relative, Frank Altschulauthored a public report, issued in December 1953 by the Committee on International Policy of the National Planning Association on the Guatemalan situation. Head of the Committee was Frank Altschul who was also secretary and vice-president of the CFR. The Altschul report, signed by twenty-two committee members of whom fifteen were CFR members, warned that “Communist infiltration in Guatemala” was a threat to the security of the Western Hemisphere and hinted that drastic action would probably be necessary to deal with this menace. In 1948 Frank Altschul was Vice Chairman for the National Planning Association.[*]

In June, 1954, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency effected a coup d’état code-named Operation PBSUCCESS. The CIA backed a minimal military force, fronted by Carlos Castillo Armas, with a psychological warfare campaign to portray military defeat as a foregone conclusion. During the coup itself, Bernays was the primary supplier of information for the international newswires Associated PressUnited Press International and the International News Service.[52][53]The most wide-reaching psychological weapon was the radio station Voice of Liberation. It began broadcasting on 1 May 1954, carrying anti-communist propaganda, telling its listeners to resist the Árbenz government and support the liberating forces of Castillo Armas. The station claimed to be broadcasting from deep within the jungles of the Guatemalan hinterland, a message which many listeners believed. In actuality, the broadcasts were concocted in Miami by Guatemalan exiles, flown to Central America, and broadcast through a mobile transmitter. The Voice of Liberation made an initial broadcast that was repeated four times, after which it took to transmitting two-hour bulletins twice a day. The transmissions were initially only heard intermittently in Guatemala City; a week later, the CIA significantly increased their transmitting power, allowing clear reception in the Guatemalan capital. The radio broadcasts have been given a lot of credit by historians for the success of the coup, due to the unrest they created throughout the country. They were unexpectedly assisted by the outage of the government-run radio station, which stopped transmitting for three weeks while a new antenna was being fitted.[119] These transmissions continued throughout the conflict, broadcasting exaggerated news of rebel troops converging on the capital, and contributing to massive demoralization among both the army and the civilian population.[120]

Following the coup, Bernays built up the image of Guatemala’s new president Carlos Castillo Armas, giving advice for his public appearances both in Guatemala and in the U.S. In 1956 Bernays produced a pamphlet comparing the Communist way and the Christian way.[54] 

John Foster Dulles and his law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell negotiated the land giveaways to the United Fruit Company in Guatemala and Honduras. John Foster Dulles' brother, Allen Dulles, also did legal work for United Fruit and sat on its board of directors. Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA under Eisenhower. In a flagrant conflict of interest, the Dulles brothers and Sullivan & Cromwell were on the United Fruit payroll for thirty-eight years.[6][7] . Under-Secretary of State Walter Bedell Smith, after leaving the government, became director of United Fruit, as did Robert D. Hill, who participated in the Guatemala operation as Ambassador to Costa Rica. Furthermore, future president of Guatemala, Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, noted that his own cooperation in the coup against Arbenz was obtained by Walter Turnbull, a former executive at United Fruit, who came to him along with two CIA agents.

In March 2007 Chiquita Brands pleaded guilty in a United States Federal court to aiding and abetting a terrorist organization, when it admitted to the payment of more than $1.7 million to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a group that the United States has labeled a terrorist organization since 2001. Under a plea agreement, Chiquita Brands agreed to pay $25 million in restitution and damages to the families of victims of the AUC. The AUC had been paid to protect the company's interest in the region.[25]

Son of Frank Altschul and Helen Lehman Goodhart (maternal granddaughter of Mayer Lehman, one of the three founding brothers of Lehman brothers); Husband of Siri Von Reis and of Patricia Altschul; father of Emily, Serena, and Stephen. He is a nephew of Senator and Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman of New York and of Sir Arthur and Lady Goodhart of Oxford, England.[*]

Arthur graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and in 1943 from Yale College. He served in the Marines from 1943 through 1945 and was a New York Times reporter in the late 1940s. Arthur Altschul was a CFR member from 1946-2001[*] .  He worked as an analyst with Lehman Brothers before joining General American Investors Company (a closed-end investment concern in which his family has a substantial interest) and then Goldman Sachs where he served as a general partner from 1959 to 1977 and a limited partner from 1977 to 1999. He was also chairman of General American Investors from 1961 to 1995.[3]

Siri von Reis was Married to Arthur Altschul Sr.; mother of Emily Helen Altschul, Serena Altschul, Arthur Altschul Jr.; mother-in-law of John Miller

Siri von Reis is an Associate of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University and honorary Curator of Ethnobotany at The New York Botanical Garden. Dr. von Reis has written numerous scientific articles and several books in ethnobotany and has served on the editorial board of theJournal of Ethnopharmacology.[*]

Partial Bibliography:

Altschul, Siri von Reis. "A taxonomlc study of the genus Anadenanthera." 

Unpublished Ph.D. thesis ms., Radcliffe College, 1961.

Vilca and its Use, SIRI VON REIS ALTSCHUL Botanical Museum of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1967

Reis, S. von. "Herbaria : sources of medicinal folklore." Economic Botany

In 1972 The Botanical Museum of Harvard released, the report authored by Siri Von Reis Altschul, THE GENUS ANADENATHERA IN AMERIDIAN CULTURES.

Schultes, Richard, Siri Von Reis. 1995. Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline. Timber Press

Jan. 28-30, 1967, Siri Von Reis was an invited participant in a symposium held in San Francisco, the Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs, sponsored by: Psychopharmacology Research Branch of National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare. It was the first international, interdisciplinary group of specialists – from ethnobotanists to neuroscientists – who gathered in one place to share their findings on the use of psychoactive plants in indigenous societies. Follow-up meetings were intended to be held every ten years. Siri Von Reis gave a discussion on "Vilca and it's use". The event was kicked off with the reading of an address to the crowd, written by Albert Hoffman. The head of MK Ultra Sub-Project 47Carl C. Pfeiffer spoke on the subject of "ETHNOGRAPHICAL ASPECTS OF KAVA". Stephen Szara, the first to publish in English on the subject of DMT (1956), was a part of the "Discussion on the Psychoactive Action of Various Tryptamine Derivatives" at the symposium, representing NIMH. R. Gordon Wasson; celebrity doctor, Andrew T. Weil; inventer of MDMA, Alexander T. Shulginwere also in attendance and a participants in the symposium. Harris IsbellM.D. was the director of research for the NIMH Addiction Research Center at the Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky from 1945 to 1963. He did extensive research on the physical and psychological effects of various drugs on humans (imprisoned narcotics offenders).  Isbell's work was at least partially funded by the Central Intelligence Agency as part of the MKUltra project[1][2][3][4]. Isbell was a speaker at the symposium on the topic, "Cross Tolerance Between LSD and Psilocybin". The proceedings of the symposium were documented in a book that was edited by Daniel H. Efron of the National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH), entitled Ethnopharmacologic Search for PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS.

Topics discussed at the event include: "The place of Ethnobotany in the Enthopharmacologic search for Psychotomimetic drugs", Empiricism and magic in Aztec Pharmacology", Perspectives on the use and abuse of Psychedelic Drugs",

Siri von Reis Altschul spoke at this conference on the subject of the hallucinogenic plant Anadenanthera, A natural source of the DMT compound, of which she had done extensive research on at the Harvard Botanical Museum, along side the so-called "father of modern ethnobotany", Richard Evans Schultes(connected to Boroughs; Wasson; Ginsberg). In 1964 Siri revised the taxonomy of the genus of the plant to include only two members, A. colubrinaand A. peregrine, previous to that botanists considered there to be 4 members[*] .

 Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs II:
Tyringham Hall, Buckinghamshire, England
Free Live Stream on Facebook
June 6 – 8, 2017
 On the 50th anniversary, an international group of specialists will gather again to share their perspectives on past, present, and future research in ethnopharmacology. ESPD50 is being organized by a team led by Dennis McKenna.[*]

Married to Arthur Altschul from 1996 until his death in 2002

Patricia Altschul is an American socialite, art collector, and personality on the reality television series, Southern Charm on the BRAVO network. Mrs. Altschul has been a director or trustee of several nonprofit organizations including the New York Historical Society[2] and Historic Hudson Valley (the Rockefeller Family properties).[3]

Patricia married the doctor and entrepreneur Edward Stitt Fleming in 1989.[10] In 1995, the couple divorced amicably. Dr. Fleming was a longtime Washington psychiatrist who founded the Psychiatric Institute of Washington and the Psychiatric Institutes of America. He was president and chief executive of Psychiatric Institutes of America, a private provider of inpatient psychiatric care, which he started in 1969 and sold in 1983. Edward Stitt Fleming was related to James Bond creator, Ian Flemming. Ian Fleming also worked with Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special representative on intelligence co-operation between London and Washington.[34] In May 1941 Ian Fleming accompanied Godfrey to the United States, where he assisted in writing a blueprint for the Office of the Coordinator of Information, the department that turned into the Office of Strategic Services and eventually became the CIA.[35]

Daughter of Arthur G. Altschul and Dr. Siri von Reis; sister of Emily, and half-sister to Stephen Altschul; sister in law of John Miller, great niece of Gov. Herbert H. Lehman

Altschul attended Scripps College for a couple of years, studying English literature, but did not graduate. After school, she worked for two years at Channel One News, as an anchor/reporter. Channel 1 news produces a daily 12 minute News program that is broadcast into middle schools and high schools nationwide. In 1995 she landed a job at MTV and in January 1996 she started working for MTV News. She also hosted shows such as MTV News: UNfilteredBreaking it Down and hosted and produced True Life.[6] From 2002 to 2003 Altschul worked at CNN.[6] She hosted and produced a CNN special on the return of PCP. She continued working at MTV News while at CNN. On December 23, 2003, she was named a CBS News contributing correspondent. She now (2013) appears on CBS Sunday Morning.
Serena was one of many prominent news people who received their start in the business at Channel One News, including Anderson Cooper, who interned at the CIA while in college Following his sophomore and junior years at Yale. Lisa and Laura Ling also got their start at CH 1 News. Mitchell Koss, producer and cameraman at CH. 1 News, served as a mentor to Cooper, Altschul, and both Ling sisters. 
Quote from Lisa Ling:
"Interestingly enough, when Anderson and I were at Channel One there was a producer who had a very big impact on both of our lives and our careers. His name is Mitchell Koss, and he also worked closely with Serena Altschul, who went to MTV and who worked with my sister (Laura Ling), and he was a mentor to all of us. I think that’s interesting because he was hugely supportive of the kind of style that Anderson and I employed in the field and never tried to mold us into anything but rather encouraged us to be our raw selves."-Lisa Ling[*]

Lisa Ling’s career includes work on ABC’s The View, host of National Geographic Explorer, and as a correspondent for CNN and Oprah Winfrey.

Laura Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee were detained in North Korea in March of 2009 after they illegally crossed into North Korea from the People's Republic of China without a visa, while on assignment for Current TV, a network owned by Al Gore. In June 2009, they were sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison for illegal entry into North Korea, and unspecified hostile acts. They were tried and convicted then subsequently pardoned after former U.S. PresidentBill Clinton flew to North Korea on a plane owned by Steve Bing, to meet with Kim Jong-il. 
Though ignored inmost news stories, two other individuals accompanied Lee and Ling in North Korea. One of them was “cameraman” Mitchell Koss, who’s been an influential media insider for decades. According to the Asian-American news site Epicanthus, which has closely followed this case, “Mitchell Koss is no mere ‘cameraman.’ He’s a wily veteran newsman, a pro’s pro, who has reported from every hot spot on the globe for the past 30 years.”

Employed previously as a producer for CNN, ABC, and PBS, Koss has  “commanded an almost surreal level of access from usually secretive government agencies such as the State Department, Department of Defense, DEA and ATF.” Koss was also in Al Gore’s employ at Current TV when the two female journalists were arrested.

On August 24, 2003, Koss wrote an op-ed column for the L.A. Times entitled Refugees Could Undo Kim. Essentially, this article promoted the use of North Korean refugees to overthrow Kim Jung Il’s regime. Coincidentally, when Lee and Ling were arrested, they were disguised as North Korean refugees, and the people they sought to interview were, as Jean H. Lee describes it, “North Korean defectors hiding in China.”

The circumstances surrounding Koss get even stranger. As Lee and Ling fled from North Korea toward China before being apprehended, Koss escaped the border guards, only to be arrested by Chinese authorities. They freed him several days later. Since that time, Koss has remained in seclusion, refusing to comment on the case to anyone except the State Department.

What makes this story even more intriguing is the fact that Laura Ling’s sister, Lisa, entered North Korea under false pretenses in June 2006 to film a National Geographic documentary entitled Undercover in North
 Posing as a volunteer for Nepalese eye doctor Sanduk Ruit, Lisa Ling used miniature hidden cameras to capture damning images of the secretive regime. The young reporter then included material provided by the Department of Defense and State Department to produce a very harsh portrait of what she called “the most terrifying country on Earth.”

 Mitch Koss and Laura Ling both worked as Director, Producer, and Creator for Serena Altschul's programs, Breaking It Down With Serena as well as on MTV True Life

Stephen Altschul is the son of Stephanie Rosemary (née Wagner) and Arthur Altschul; half-brother of Serena and Emily; brother in law of John J. Miller

Stephen Frank Altschul (born February 28, 1957) is an American mathematician who has designed algorithms that are used in the field of bioinformatics(the Karlin-Altschul algorithm[2] and its successors[3]). Altschul is the co-author of the BLAST algorithm used for sequence analysis of proteins and nucleotides.[4][5] Stephen Altschul graduated summa cum laude[6] from Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in mathematics and has a Ph.D. in the same field from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[7] 

His dissertation at MIT was on the subject titled, Aspects of Biological Sequence Comparison. [*] During his undergraduate years, Dr. Altschul developed an interest in biology. As a result, he started reading books about DNA. One of the books which he read was "The Double Helix" by Watson. Furthermore, he had also taken a course on Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Altschul had also spent two summers working in laboratories at Rockfeller University where he helped to write computer codes for an X-ray crystallography project. Due to his interest, Dr. Altschul had considered trying to apply to graduate school in biology. He instead decided to apply to programs in applied mathematics, with the hope of finding some applications of mathematics to biology to work on. From 1990 to present, he has worked as a mathematician at the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Computational Biology Branch, holding the position of senior investigator.[*] [*]

BLAST can be used for several purposes. These include identifying species, locating domains, establishing phylogeny, DNA mapping, and comparison.
Identifying species
With the use of BLAST, you can possibly correctly identify a species or find homologous species. This can be useful, for example, when you are working with a DNA sequence from an unknown species.
Locating domains
When working with a protein sequence you can input it into BLAST, to locate known domains within the sequence of interest.
Establishing phylogeny
Using the results received through BLAST you can create a phylogenetic tree using the BLAST web-page. Phylogenies based on BLAST alone are less reliable than other purpose-built computational phylogenetic methods, so should only be relied upon for "first pass" phylogenetic analyses.
DNA mapping
When working with a known species, and looking to sequence a gene at an unknown location, BLAST can compare the chromosomal position of the sequence of interest, to relevant sequences in the database(s).
When working with genes, BLAST can locate common genes in two related species, and can be used to map annotations from one organism to another.
The BLAST Algorithm , designed by Stephen Altschul is used in DNA comparison research such as, Testing the Chromosomal Speciation Hypothesis for Humans and Chimpanzees to try to prove "human evolution".[*]

Son of John J. Miller, a syndicated gossip columnist for a variety of New York newspapers; married to Emily Altschul (the couple met in the 1980's through Mr. Miller's friendship with Ms. Altschul's brother, Arthur[*]); brother-in-law to Serena Altschul and Stephen Altschul; godson to Luciano crime family boss Frank Costello's wife
This motherfucker right here did the famous televised interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1998!!!! 
John Miller wrote an article chronicling his visit with Bin Laden in a 1999 article in Esquire.

Info from LinkedIn
1973 -1985
Reporter @ WNEW TV News Channel 5

Reporter @ WNBC TV News as well as NBC News 

Deputy Commissioner/Chief Spokesman @ NYPD (appointed by William Bratton who would later become Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council under Obama

Anchor/Correspondent @ ABC News. 
Miller took the post of co-anchor with Barbara Walters of the ABC News program, 20/20. Reported on the 1999 Columbine shooting. Covered the September 11, 2001 attacks, where he sat alongside Peter Jennings for the duration of the day listening in to radio conversations from the FBIFDNY and NYPD, informing Jennings and viewers of their content.

Bureau Cheif of Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau @ LAPD. 
Miller went to work again for Bratton who was Chief of Police of Los Angeles. Miller was also one of the original designers of the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), which combines intelligence and analysis for the LAPD, LA Sheriff, and the FBI.

Assistant Director @ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 
Miller was tasked with overseeing the FBI's internal and external communications, including relations with the news media and handling of fugitive publicity, community relations, and other communications support.

Assistant Deputy Director Of Intelligence Analysis @ Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The Director of National Intelligence serves as the head of the Intelligence Community, overseeing and directing the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and acting as the principal advisor to the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters

Senior Correspondent @ CBS News
Miller Reported on Sandy Hook.  NY TIMES wrote, "Then, late in the evening, a reporter came on CBS in New York. He knew the number of casualties, the type of weapon used, and that the mother of the shooter was dead inside her home. 'Who is this guy?' I asked my wife."; "If Mr. Miller, 54, seemed to know what happened inside Sandy Hook Elementary School as soon as the police officials did, that’s because not that long ago, he was one of them."

Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism @ NYPD

Miller's father, John J. Miller, was an old-school reporter for the New York Enquirer, and he ran the family house in Montclair, New Jersey, like a press mill. "My dad wrote seven columns under six different names," Miller says. "Antonio from Rome. Pierre from Paris. Nigel from London."
(There was a John F Miller who was a member of The National Planning Association together with Frank Altschul.  I speculate that "John J." & "John F." may be the same person, but am unable to prove yet. His father clearly is no stranger to using aliases.)

On 9/11, he manned the ABC News desk with Peter Jennings, covering the attack as his former NYPD colleagues responded to the scene of a crime at which many of them would die. During the Sandy Hook school massacre in December, while other reporters speculated, Miller had the facts: He called the right number of casualties, reported the type of weapon the shooter had used (a Bushmaster assault rifle), and confirmed the discovery of the killer's murdered mother's body. "Things were unfolding in real time, and we knew some of the information would change," Miller says. "But we knew this was gonna be very, very, very bad."

At 14, Miller landed a $2-an-hour night job at WNEW, one of the city's independent TV stations. He monitored the police radio, harassed the precincts for story leads, fetched film from the lab. Eventually he moved up to covering murders, fires, building collapses – anything and everything. In 1973, he worked the murder of Roseann Quinn, a Bronx schoolteacher who had been living a secret life picking up men in singles bars. (Her life, and death, became the inspiration for the 1975 novel, 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar.') Miller missed so many classes, he graduated from high school a year late – with stories his classmates could scarcely believe. "I was getting to see what most kids weren't even allowed to watch on TV," he says. (In a 2002 interview in 'People,' Miller, asked about his education, recalled, "Friends would say, 'We got high behind the garage last night, what did you do?' I'd say, 'I went to a triple homicide in the Bronx.'")
In 1986, Miller scored his first big "get," landing an on-camera exchange with Mafia boss John Gotti as he exited a Manhattan courthouse. He scooped the city's press corps again in 1992, when he revealed, with leaked information from a government source, that Gotti had given a juror in the trial a $60,000 bribe. (The "Teflon Don" was acquitted.) The FBI investigated Miller's information – they later convicted Gotti of obstruction of justice – and an official report of the incident detailed Miller's deep connections to New York law enforcement.
Two years later, in 1994, incoming New York Police Department commissioner, William Bratton, asked Miller to join him as spokesman. Bratton admits that not everyone was impressed by the choice. "People were aghast that this TV reporter who wears $2,000 Brioni suits and smokes Cuban cigars was now gonna be on the other side telling the story instead of reporting it," he says. It turned out, though, that Miller's experience with cops proved invaluable. He'd gotten loaded with them in their bars, toasted them at their retirement parties, paid his respects at their kids' christenings. "John knew everybody's public story, and he knew everybody's private story," says Bratton. "He's got a rat-trap memory. He's never met someone he didn't put in his Rolodex."
Some of Miller's reporting colleagues resented him for "going over to the dark side." But Miller knew it was an incredible opportunity, "like having my nose pressed against the glass for 20 years and finally getting inside." And in some ways, the work wasn't so different. He got comments from the same injured cops being wheeled into ambulances, pieced together what happened at the same drug busts gone bad – only instead of publishing what he learned, he released a statement to the press. "It's information gathering," Miller says. "Learning the essential details, separating the wheat from the chaff, and putting it into context." He stayed for a little more than a year, until the journalism bug bit him again.
Miller parlayed his high-profile police work into a network job at ABC News. His major break as a national reporter came in 1998, when a source from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation suggested that Miller pursue an interview in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden. That hour-long interview, conducted only months before al Qaeda's attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, was one of the earliest glimpses Americans got of the terrorist mastermind.
Miller continued his run at ABC News, and in 2002, joined Barbara Walters as co-anchor on '20/20'. But in 2003, after Bratton took charge of the scandal-scarred LAPD, Miller gave it all up and headed West, helping establish the department's counter-terrorism and criminal-intelligence bureau. "When I told Barbara I was leaving to be a cop in L.A., she said, 'Are you crazy?'" says Miller. But he felt he could make a bigger difference fighting terrorism than covering it.
Unlike in New York, Miller's job was operational instead of acting as spokesman, and he realized that real cop work required a real cop. So he enrolled at the city's police academy, and seven months later (he went part time), Bratton swore him in as member of the force. "It was the proudest day of his life," says Bratton.
In 2005, Miller was ready for a new challenge, so he moved on again, first to the FBI as a public-affairs officer, and then to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the agency that oversees the FBI and CIA. Ultimately, though, the glacial pace of Washington's bureaucracy frustrated him. "He was hoping to have more of an impact," says Bratton. "He wasn't being fully utilized." Plus, after eight years of public service, Miller was ready to return to the news. In 2011, CBS hired him as a senior correspondent. "I don't know what they're paying him," says Bratton, "but it's not enough, since they're getting four different reporters in one."
"Every time something comes up in the newsroom," says CBS News president David Rhodes, "John will say, 'I know the guy, let me tell you the deal on him.'" Last July, after the mass killing in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Miller nabbed an exclusive interview with the city's police chief. "He worked for the NYPD at the same time as John," says Rhodes.
Despite his success at CBS, Miller admits that he still feels tempted to jump to the other side of the yellow tape again. "Whenever something big happens, you watch it," he says, his voice trailing off a little bit wistfully. "But then you remember the last time you were there, how you saw the reporters and said, 'Look at those guys out there. They probably know more than we do.'"