In her book, Katharine The Great (1979), Deborah Davis points out that Newsweek was owned by the Astor Foundation. The most dominant figure of the organization was Gates White McGarrah. His grandson was Richard McGarrah Helms, a leading figure in the CIA’s Directorate of Plans that ran Mockingbird. Helms was a childhood friend of Ben Bradlee (page 141). In the early 1950s Bradlee worked for the Office of U.S. Information and Educational Exchange (USIE). This was an organization under the control of the CIA. In 1953 Bradlee went to work for Newsweek. Recently released documents concerning the Rosenberg case show that while employed by Newsweek, Bradlee was also working for the CIA.
In 1961 it was Ben Bradlee who told Phil Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, that Newsweek was up for sale. Bradlee told Graham that he had heard this from his good friend, Richard Helms (page 142). Phil Graham had been recruited to Operation Mockingbird by Frank Wisner soon after the CIA was created in 1947. Wisner and Graham had both been members of the OSS during the Second World War.