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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BRITISH SECURITY COORDINATION (BSC)

The wartime umbrella organization created in 1940 and located in New York to provide cover in the Western Hemisphere for the Secret Intelligence Service, MI5, Political Warfare Executive, and  Special Operations Executive. Located in Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue and headed by Canadian businessman William Stephenson, BSC conducted operations within the  United States to counter Nazi propaganda and bring pressure on the German-American Bund. It also ran agents against neutral diplomatic missions in Washington,
D.C., much to the dismay of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, J. Edgar Hoover, and maintained security in ports visited by British shipping.
BSC played a significant role in influencing U.S. public opinion prior to Pearl Harbor through the supply of British propaganda to newspapers and radio commentators. This was achieved by the bribery of compliant journalists; the establishment of a news agency that provided low-cost, ostensibly independent reporting, especially to Jewish-owned newspapers; and the acquisition of a shortwave broadcast station to act as a platform for a pro-Allied viewpoint.
Other clandestine efforts included the dissemination of bogus public opinion polls and the harassment of  businesses trading with Germany. BSC’s remit terminated in 1945 and it was not replaced.