The Role of Left Gatekeeping Foundations in Suppressing Dissent
Since the October 2008 economic collapse, American workers have faced an unprecedented “austerity cuts,” with major hits on their livelihoods and labor and pension rights. Yet Americans, unlike the rest of the world, don’t respond by taking to the street in the millions. Why is this? Many progressive pundits are deeply dismayed at the apparent passivity and apathy of the American public. Others, myself included, feel the power elite has been laying the groundwork for decades for a totalitarian takeover (also known as fascism) of democratic government.
The Deep State, Peter Dale Scott’s term for shadowy network of government officials and corporate elite that secretly steers foreign and domestic policy behind the façade of democracy (see http://www.voltairenet.org/article169316.html), seems to rely on two main strategies in suppressing opposition to their agenda. The first involves the indoctrination, via a multibillion dollar public relations industry, of two generations of Americans with a passive, non-engaged consumerist mentality. The second involves a vast interlocking network of left gatekeeping foundations that totally dominate progressive organizing in the US.
Progressive media critics have written extensively about the corporate takeover of the mainstream media that has facilitated censorship of anti-corporate news and the total saturation of American life with pro-corporate messaging. The role of left gatekeeping foundations, which may be even more critical in suppressing organized dissent, receives scant attention, even in the “alternative” media (e.g. the Nation, Democracy Now, the Progressive, Mother Jones). This may relate to the heavy reliance of these outlets on left gatekeeping foundations for much of their funding.
The CIA Funds Both the Right and the Left
I first learned that the Nation was indirectly funded by the CIA through Sherman Skolnick’s investigation of the 990 and 990A tax returns of the Ford Foundation and other allegedly “liberal” foundations that were funding them. Skolnick felt this was the main reason for the Nation’s rabidly dismissive attitude towards the scrupulous research of Peter Dale Scott, Carl Oglesby, Sylvia Meagher and other scholars into the role US intelligence played in both Kennedy assassinations, the Martin Luther King assassination and other so-called “conspiracies” involving government criminal activity.
I was unaware of the domestic “counterinsurgency” role – involving a range of “Cointelpro”-type functions – of left gatekeeping foundations prior to reading Webster Tarpley’s Barack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography. It’s really impossible to understand who Obama is or his policy choices without understanding that the so-called liberal foundations that gave him his political start in Chicago had the same fundamental pro-corporate agenda that has characterized his presidency. An agenda underscored by the funding these and similar foundations receive from right wing, CIA-linked foundations.
The Role of the CIA in Protecting Corporate Interests
I think it’s also essential here to clarify what the CIA is and who they represent. Their official function is to gather intelligence overseas, though it’s an open secret that they also engage in international “counterinsurgency” activities: they covertly influence foreign elections (via advertising and paying local campaigners); they create political instability and even “color” revolutions, by funding and training opposition groups (as in Libya); they organize military coups to overthrow democratically elected governments (as in Guatemala, Chile, Iran and Indonesia); they organize and fund mercenary armies (often by collaborating with them in narcotics trafficking) Afghanistan) to overthrow democratically elected governments; they torture suspected Islamic terrorists; and they covertly assassinate foreign political leaders and labor and human rights activists.
According to the corporate media spin, the CIA does all this to protect the American public from Communists, Muslims, immigrants or whatever bogeyman the corporate media happen to be serving up on the six o’clock news. However a careful study of their history shows that the CIA operates exclusively to support and protect corporate interests. The CIA was initially started by Wall Street lawyers (Allen Dulles, a former United Fruit Company board member, and Frank Wisner) and largely recruits its leadership from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and other Ivy League Schools. When it assassinates a foreign leader overthrows a democratically elected government in Chile, Indonesia, Iran or Guatemala, it does so for the benefit of Wall Street companies who want access to that country’s natural resources (the 1954 coup in Guatemala followed Arbenz’s attempt to nationalize a United Fruit Company plantation), cheap labor and markets.
Oh No, Another Conspiracy Theory
Although both Tarpley and Skolnick are often dismissed as conspiracy-obsessed wing-nuts, the fundamental role left gatekeeping foundations play in progressive American politics isn’t a half baked conspiracy theory. There is an extensive, carefully documented body of research into why these foundations were formed and why they knowingly agreed to be co-opted by the CIA.
To be continued.