Subversion: U.S. government aims to form team of ‘journalists’ inside Cuba

usaidFOLLOWING explosive revelations that the U.S. government bribed Miami “journalists” in 1999 to guarantee the unjust convictions of the five Cuban patriots who are completing 14 years of arbitrary and illegal punishment, it has launched a new operation. It is to be headed by an ex-CIA agent and is to employ a considerable number of “journalists” – in reality, undercover agents – in “major cities in Cuba, including Havana and Santiago de Cuba.” The dirty operation aims to publish articles and commentaries and produce a new storm of disinformation against the sovereign Caribbean island republic, writes Florida-based journalist and author TRACEY EATON in this exposé.

CIA-dan-gabriel[Along the Malecón] – THE U.S. government has hired a former CIA agent to create and manage a team of at least 10 journalists in Cuba, contract records show.

Daniel Gabriel has exceptional qualifications. He is a former operations assistant at CNN who later joined the CIA and completed six tours to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His biography describes him as a former CIA covert action officer who spent 10 years “countering violent-extremism, directing counter-insurgency operations, and developing and benchmarking counter-radicalization theory and methodology in the Islamic world.”

According to his LinkedIn profile:

Gabriel helped pioneer the use of social media in war-fighting and political conflict, and he was an early advocate for incorporating social media metrics into predictive intelligence and risk analysis. He is a subject matter expert and original researcher of interactive digital media strategies, social network analysis, international media research, text analytics, latent semantic indexing, strategic planning techniques, operational and organizational design, and complex system dynamics.

Quincy Street

Quincy Street

One colleague raved:

Keep your eyes glued to this guy – he rocks.

Gabriel is the founding partner of Applied Memetics, located at 888 Quincy St., Suite 1901, in Arlington, Va.

  • Sept. 26 contract shows that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG, agreed to pay Applied Memetics $9,909 for work performed from Sept. 26 to Nov. 15.
  • Nov. 14 document shows the contract was modified to include options extending the contract to Oct. 31, 2016.

The BBG’s Sept. 7 request for proposals said the Cuban reporters would operate in “major cities in Cuba, including Havana and Santiago de Cuba” and “would provide regular local news and feature reports.”

The Cuban stringers would be required to “conduct interviews and provide fair, accurate, balanced and objective news and feature stories in Spanish for broadcast on radio, television, mobile and web as required, including breaking news, and deliver news reports and work on short deadlines.”

Before founding the company, Gabriel “was a key architect and implementer of strategic engagement, collaboration, and de-confliction efforts across USG agencies to integrate global counter-terrorism strategic communications campaign after 9/11,” according to his biography.

He worked as an operations assistant at CNN’s Washington Bureau for Crossfire and as a freelance reporter for the Washington Times before joining the CIA.

Gabriel was also an aide, researcher and New Hampshire political director for conservative politician Patrick Buchanan from 1996 to 2000.

His Arlington company’s partners include:

  • Caspian Global, which was “founded by former military personnel, intelligence officers and federal contracting experts; the majority possessing high level security clearances.”
  • Red Five Security, whose personnel “have extensive experience in security operations and intelligence; security design and engineering; threat and vulnerability assessments; investigations; and have trained corporate and government security professionals around the globe. The team includes experts from the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Departments of State, Defense and Energy as well as accredited security design specialists.”
  • BAE Systems, which says it is “building on our strength as a global provider of defence and security products to shape support services that meet the changing needs of our customers. From sophisticated cyber services and military support, to mission critical electronic systems and protection equipment, we aim to be at the forefront of defence technology and science.”
  • Reservoir International, which says its “core function is organizational training in the intricate fields of Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Advanced Special Operations (ASO) and Unconventional Warfare (UW): a core function born of the belief that challenging and relevant training in these fields is vital to the survival and success of the Nation’s warriors.”
  • Active Media, which says, “Our Business is Growing Your Business Online”
BAE Systems’ Jetstream aircraft known as ‘The Flying Test Bed,”
an aerial laboratory that can fly unmanned or with pilots.

In November 2011, the Army hired Applied Memetics to carry out “social networking training,” and paid the company $14,626 for services performed from Nov. 23, 2011, to Jan. 6, 2012, a contractdocument show.

The BBG, which manages the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, said the contractor managing the Cuba journalists would be required to produce “at least five stories per week, depending on the news cycle.”

Production was expected to include video news packages ranging in length from two to five minutes; raw footage, including B-roll, interviews and sound bites; written stories for use in radio and on websites, and photos, when possible, according to a price schedule.

Prospective members of the news team, according to the BBG:

  • Must be able to gather photographs and video, and write, narrate or film (video) verifiable information (by two sources or based on eyewitness reports);
  • Must be able to both pitch their own stories and respond to the needs of the BBG newsrooms. Must have initiative and develop news stories and ideas independently. Must generate original stories and establish a network of sources both in government and outside official channels in order to report on a wide variety of subjects. Stories regarding politics and economics are of particular interest as are those of the dissident movement. The stringers must also be able to identify and cover stories related to civil society, social issues, sports and entertainment;
  • Must have a phone and know how to communicate via SMS, twitter and how to send pictures and videos. Must know how to navigate on social media;
  • Must also comply with journalistic guidelines and standards set by OCB;
  • Stringers should preferably have journalism degrees. If they are experienced in the field of journalism without the degree, OCB will review what their prior experience is and what media association they provided information for;
  • Must be able to show valid identification with current and correct information even if they go by a pseudonym, and may not work as editors of Cuban state-run media organization and programs or be affiliated in any way with the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party.

Additional background is below:

From the BBG’s request for proposals

The journalists under employment need not be full time employees of the interested party (i.e. they can be freelancers) but the company will handle all necessary paperwork and payments related to the employment of said journalists, including taxes, tariffs, etc.

In addition, Contractor shall be responsible for the accuracy and technical quality of the reports. BBG shall own the copyright to all materials and reports provided by the stringers. All stringer reports must be approved by OCB to ensure they meet journalistic and technical standards. Contractor shall not invoice for any reports which fail to meet OCB journalistic criteria and technical standards.

Additional information: BBG holds a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control to engage the services of Cuban nationals in Cuba for the purpose of preparing news-related materials. The BBG does not currently employ any stringers (i.e. freelance journalists) in Cuba; however, the agency could provide the Contractor with a list of potential candidates for consideration.

From Applied Memetics’ mission statement

Applied Memetics LLC is a professional services company dedicated to integrating and delivering best practice communication and information solutions in pre-conflict, conflict, or post-conflict areas. We create and execute strategic communications and information operations that are grounded in conceptual clarity, rigorous methodology, and on-the-ground experience.

From new media to traditional media to dynamic engineering of social networks: we exploit and leverage perceptions to create new realities on the ground. Our approach combines over sixty years of academic and applied experience in the field, and a sound understanding of business process. The partners and staff of Memetics have provided solutions and insight to the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Multi National Forces-Iraq, Fortune 500 companies, and American embassies worldwide.

The senior partners at Memetics have personally witnessed the failure – often on a massive scale – of Government and commercial sector clients who fail to ignore the art and science of communication. The Memetics approach seeks to deliver appropriately-themed messages and information to precise target audiences with a goal of viral message propagation and acceptance throughout an informational environment. Our approach is also our value proposition: to leverage current, best-practice technology applications and communications methodologies; to identify networks and key influencers; to deliver highly-effective themes and messages, and to incorporate measures of effectiveness (MOE) into all our services and products.

Our experience in both semi-permissive and non-permissive threat environments – and our preexisting global networks and contacts – allow us to support our clients’ communication and information needs in all environments and under all conditions. Whether boardroom or back alley – from the strategic to the tactical – Memetics will provide its customers with effects-based communications solutions, linking people and networks.

Dan Gabriel’s LinkedIn profile


Mr. Gabriel helped pioneer the use of social media in war-fighting and political conflict, and he was an early advocate for incorporating social media metrics into predictive intelligence and risk analysis. He is a subject matter expert and original researcher of interactive digital media strategies, social network analysis, international media research, text analytics, latent semantic indexing, strategic planning techniques, operational and organizational design, and complex system dynamics.


Applied Memetics, LLC
2007 – Present (5 years) Arlington, VA

Mr. Gabriel is the founding partner of Applied Memetics, LLC, (, a professional services company dedicated to integrating and delivering best practice communication and information solutions in pre-conflict, conflict, or post-conflict areas. Applied Memetics LLC brings together a team of leading experts in crisis communications, international affairs, cognitive psychology, information systems analysis, and strategic communications to shape and understand information flows that impact global commerce, governance, and national security.

• Researched and developed evolutionary-based models of cultural information transfer for grassroots campaigns and direct action operations in support of DoD Irregular Warfare and Unconventional Warfare campaigns.
• Innovated the use of social media in war-fighting and political conflict; early advocate for incorporating social media metrics into predictive intelligence and risk analysis.
• Subject matter expert in social network analysis, international media research, text analytics, latent semantic indexing, digital media strategies, operational and organizational design, and complex system dynamics.

Dan has 1 recommendation (1 partner) including:

3rd Christopher D., Owner and Principal Consultant,
Staff Operations Officer
Central Intelligence Agency
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; International Affairs industry
2003 – 2006 (3 years) Mclean, VA

• Completed six tours to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
• Conducted sensitive operations in hostile areas to support USG National Security objectives against terrorist groups and foreign governments.
• Spotted, assessed, and developed potential assets for further development and acquisition.
• Managed clandestine human intelligence operations (HUMINT) in Southeast Asia, North Africa, Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
• Interfaced with US diplomatic personnel and host country law enforcement agencies to coordinate strategic influence operations.
Account Executive
CRC Public Relations
Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Public Relations and Communications industry
1999 – 2000 (1 year) Alexandria, VA

• Planned and executed earned media strategy for political and corporate clients.
• Developed corporate and brand messaging platforms; built effective, integrated programs targeting multiple stakeholder and influencer audiences.
• Gained corporate communications experience and expertise in the areas of corporate reputation, executive profile building, crisis and issues management, public engagement, and media training.
• Provided leadership in the areas of total account management, including day-to-day account activity and the provision of strategic guidance and counsel to clients in support of their business objectives.
• Coordinated national radio and cable TV appearances and op-ed placement for clients’ spokesmen.

Honors and Awards

Eagle Scout

Boy Scouts of America


Babson College – Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business

MBA, Master of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship (2007 – 2010)

Mr. Gabriel holds an MBA from Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, which has been rated #1 for Entrepreneurship by U.S.News & World Report for 19 years running. At Babson, Mr. Gabriel focused on incorporating entrepreneurial thought and action across disciplines in the pursuit of both economic and social value. His focus included: Creating and Leading Effective Organizations; Financial Reporting; Strategy; Data, Models and Decisions; Defining, Offering and Delivering Value to Customers; Managerial Economics; Technology and Operations Management; and, Global Business opportunities.

The George Washington University

MA International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs (2002 – 06)

Concentration in Security Policy Studies and the Middle East:

-Political Psychology
-US National Security Policy and Process
-Political Violence and Terrorism

Georgetown University

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), Certificate in Arab Studies (2002 – 03)

Graduate coursework in Political Islam:

-Islamic Fundamentalism and Radicalism
-Islamic Political Jurisprudence
-Democracy and Islamic Movements
-Islamic Revivalism

Georgetown University
Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies: Summer Language Institute, Modern Standard Arabic (2002 – 02)

The American University in Cairo
Graduate certificate, Arabic (2001 – 02)

Graduate coursework in Arabic language and Islamic culture; Democracy and Islamic Movements; Islamic Revivalism.

The George Washington University
B.A., Journalism; Political Communication (1996 – 2001)

Belmont Hill
High school, College prep (1992 – 96)

Recommendations For Dan
Applied Memetics, LLC

“Dan is one of those dream clients you get once in a blue moon: totally risk tolerant, possessed of a voracious appetite for learning, and the drive to turn pontification into action. I was very flattered he included me as a consultant in his startup, Applied Memetics, especially because I believe the work his company is about to accomplish will astonish people. Keep your eyes glued to this guy– he rocks.” June 9, 2011

Originally published on, November 18, 2012

Related articles

Case of the Cuban Five: A challenge to journalism

U.S. government-funded disinformation operation in Miami exposed – Part 1

U.S. government-funded disinformation operation in Miami exposed – Part 2


Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation

2 responses to “Subversion: U.S. government aims to form team of ‘journalists’ inside Cuba

  1. Pingback: The wizards of lies | Tony Seed’s Weblog

  2. Pingback: U.S. political prisoners and the media; the truth emerges | Tony Seed's Weblog

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