The most long-lasting, virulent, and dangerous active measure is covert influence. In a covert influence operation a payload is secretly inserted into some part of the enemy’s communications channels. The ultimate goal of covert influence is to transform the enemy in a way that is useful to the attacker.
In a typical covert influence operation an intelligence officer targets an agent of influence. The target is chosen for access to a desired channel of communications (the ComIntern intel operators targeted American media, academia, and Hollywood). The intelligence officer uses standard recruiting tradecraft to become friends with the targeted agent of influence. Appealing to the identified vulnerabilities of the targeted agent, the officer burrows into the target’s life.
The targeted agent of influence may, or may not, know that she is dealing with a hostile intelligence service, even after she is recruited. The agent might provide her services because she believes in the message, or she may work for pay, or maybe for some other gratification. In the actual operation, the espionage officer provides the recruited agent of influence with the payload. The agent of influence inserts the payload into his communications channel. Once the payload is inserted, in the form of a news story, an editorial, a speech, a book, a lecture, a movie, a radio program, a song, a play, or any other form of communication, the payload takes on a life of its own.
The message can influence consumers for the rest of their lives. All it takes is one time exposure, and consumers’ beliefs and attitudes can be changed. Reading a book or an article, hearing a song or a radio show, seeing a movie or a play are potentially life-changing experiences. The communist covert influence message was intended to change individual and societal morals and values.
This Covert Influencing is what's messed up the minds of "progressives" and others who're too lazy to think for themselves. Covert Influence is about corruption, immorality, anything-goes, don't worry, be happy cavalier uncaringness about ...things. Not to mention socialism/communism, which we see happening right now, with Obama and the Democrats, and with other national governments and societies. Oh, yes. I've been, for years now, researching what's been going on in the Free World that's so weird and bizarrely transformative vis-a-vis what once was, like in the Fifties, certainly prior to the 1917 Bolshevist Revolution that changed the world.
Millions and millions have been influenced by the corrupting messages coming from the international socialist-communist movement. They're everywhere now, across the entire state apparati of the world. In government, in the public service, the newsmedia, the schools and universities, in Hollywood, etc., etc.
Those millions and millions of others, on the other hand, who think for themselves as opposed to simply accepting things as imposed, no matter what, have, in the past so many years, come to understand what's happened and are now uprising and pushing back against the "progressive" movement (what the communists call themselves today, euphemistically).
The Tea Party is an example. FOX News is another. World Net Daily yet another. Andrew Breitbart is a leading activist in the uprising and pushback, basically the chief reverse-Alinsky.
Those who are "progressive" or otherwise clueless and brainwashed by the covert-influence-borne messages they receive from the Old Media, schools and peers, they don't realize that they're being used, are carriers of the virus of corruption sent by an enemy regime to transform the Free World in the interests of the enemy regime.
It's not just Russia that practices Covert Influencing. Communist China does it, too, and CSIS head Richard Fadden alluded to it.