Posts Tagged ‘council on foreign relations’
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on Civil Liberties, Attacks on the Working Class
Kevin Spacey as Casino Jack
Guest post by Dr Danny Weil
(This is the Part 1 of a 3-part article about Alex Abramoff’s campaign for student body president at Santa Monica College. While this might seem incredibly trivial, this is precisely how his father Jack Abramoff and his cronies got their start, by organizing Reagan’s Young Turks on college campuses. Despite their defeat in November, the criminal branch of the Republican Party never sleeps. )
Readers might remember the horrific Jack Abramoff who, with his surly counterparts such as Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and a host of crooked politicians, milked American Indians out of millions in consultant fees. Abramoff eventually went to prison but exited with a tell-tale book and a radio show. Doing time is nothing for these scoundrels who reap rewards for their sundry crimes. Abramoff had mammoth ambitions when he was a Washington D.C. kingpin on ‘K Street’.
As Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, reporters for the Washington Post stated back in December 29th, 2005. “Casino Jack”, as he was known, sought to build the biggest lobbying portfolio in D.C. He opened two restaurants close to the Capitol. He bought a fleet of casino boats. He produced two Hollywood movies. He leased four arena and stadium skyboxes and dreamed of owning a pro sports team. He was a generous patron in his Orthodox Jewish community, starting a boys’ religious school in Maryland. Lawmakers and their aides packed his restaurants and skyboxes and jetted off with him on golf trips to Scotland and the Pacific island of Saipan. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/28/AR2005122801588.html).
What’s more, Casino Jack collected unprecedented sums of money– tens of millions of dollars — from casino-rich Indian tribes who fallaciously thought the felon was attempting to help them when in actuality he was using his perfidious charm to swindle them while literally laughing all the way to the bank. Abramoff also offered jobs and other favors to well-placed congressional staffers and executive branch officials. He pushed his own associates for government positions, from which they, too, could help him swindle more and more money while building his power hungry reputation (ibid).
Readers can read more about Abramoff’s political connections, his support for apartheid in South Africa in the 1980’s, his gun running to Zionist settlers and other such crimes. As one insidious example, Casino Jack was a member of the International Freedom Foundation that in the 1980’s had branches in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, England. The International Freedom Foundation was actually a front for intelligence operators who worked on psycho-political operations to prolong apartheid. People involved included United States Department of State Officials, United States Congressmen, and US Intelligence agents. The South African government secretly paid $1.5 million a year to the International Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group that Abramoff operated out of a townhouse in the 1980s (http://www.bilderberg.org/roundtable/lhiff.html).
There was nothing that the despicable Abramoff would not do for money and the people he hurt all over the world through his corruption and fine taste for money and power were simply thrown under the bus at no expense to the crooked, arrogant thug. Front for Apartheid, an article from the despicable International Freedom Foundation appeared in Newsday, Sunday, July 16, 1995. The article was reported by Dele Olojede in South Africa and Timothy M. Phelps in Washington. The article says “jobs” for South African intelligence provided at least half of the total IFF revenue, and South African military intelligence would send fees from the “jobs” directly to the IFF Washington office. The article was a limited hangout that didn’t mention the South African Institute of International Affairs, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, or the Council on Foreign Relations.
The article has a picture of Secretary of State George Shultz shaking hands with Oliver Tambo, the late exiled leader of ANC, at the State Department in 1987. The article mentions that people like Henry Kissinger were invited to International Freedom Foundation seminars to deliver keynote speeches. Among those in attendance was former CIA director William Colby. Shultz, Kissinger and Colby were members of the Council on Foreign Relations. The article talks about Americans who were on the board of Directors of the IFF, and who worked for the IFF in South Africa. Nearly every man mentioned was a United States Intelligence agent at one time or another. You can see a list of the criminal members at (http://www.bilderberg.org/roundtable/lhiff.html).
To be continued.
Dr. Danny Weil is an investigative journalist, author and public interest attorney who practiced public interest law for more than twenty years and has been published in a case of first impression in California. He now lives in Ecuador.
Reposted from Daily Censored
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, The Wars in the Middle East
Riad Farid Hijab is the former agriculture minister President Assad recently appointed as Syria’s new prime minister. Syrians went to the polls to elect a new parliament last month, and Assad has asked Hijab to form a new government. In Syria, as in Russia, the position of prime minister is mainly administrative, with the president holding ultimate authority as head of state.
Until yesterday, I was totally unaware that Syria held parliamentary elections last month, the first elections in the country’s history in which non-Baathist opposition parties were allowed to stand candidates in all provinces. The election was held under Syria’s revised constitution, which for the first time allows non-Baathist parties to serve in government. Although Hillary Clinton and other western leaders have had a lot to say about Syria in the last few months, I can’t recall any of them mentioning the Syrian elections. It must have slipped their minds.
Participation of Opposition Parties in the Elections
According to Alakbhar English, which offers the most comprehensive English coverage of the elections, the hopelessly divided Syrian opposition approached the parliamentary elections in three totally divergent ways. One group called for entering the parliamentary elections, based on their view that it would increase the public profile of opposition parties. Two parties that took this position – the People’s Will Party and the SSNP (Popular Front for Change and Liberation) – fielded 45 candidates.
The second group, consisting mainly of the Syrian Nation Council (SNC), the Building the Syrian State movement and similar opposition parities and figures, called for a complete boycott of the elections on the basis that participating would mean compromising with the regime and recognizing its legitimacy.
The third group, which calls themselves the “Muhammad Brigades,” belongs to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). They vowed to carry out assassinations against candidates who participated in the elections. In a FSA video released online the stated, “If they do not withdraw, we will make them withdraw by force.”
Candidates from the National Progressive Front (NPF), the only opposition party recognized prior to the constitutional reforms, stood in the May 7th elections as the National Unity coalition. In past elections, the NPF included the parties of Syria’s workers and farmers. Yet previously no party other than the Baath Party was allowed to field candidates in all Syrian provinces. The Communists and the Syrian Social Nationalist (SSNP) parties also had a modest showing in last month’s elections, as they are old established parties, despite the prior restriction on their ability to field candidates. Other opposition parties, many of which are less than a year old, had far less funding for advertising and faced a major uphill battle in getting their principles and goals in front of the Syrian public.
A Political Loss for Assad
Karl Sharo, who covered the election returns for Alakbhar English feels the elections, which were intended to bolster support for the Assad government, did just the opposite. The turn-out for the elections was a pitiful 51%. This related in part to the SNC boycott and, in part, to the impracticality of setting up polling stations in areas of active conflict, such as Hama and Homs. Assad’s Baathist party reportedly won 183 seats out of 250, giving it a commanding 73% share of the new parliament. Crucially, none of the new parties that were established in the lead up to the elections managed to win a single seat.
Sharo feels that the timing of the elections, while opposition strongholds like Hama and Homs remain active combat zones, suggests Assad has already accepted Syria as a divided country. He sees this, along with the low turn-out, the abysmal showing of reform parties and widespread allegations of electoral fraud by opposition candidates who previously subscribed to his reforms, as a clear sign of Assad’s weakening political influence.
Given the parallel, equally dysfunctional process operating in the Syrian National Council (SNC), the umbrella opposition group seeking to oust Assad, Sharo is troubled by the current political vacuum in Syria. He describes the current disarray in the SNC, sparked by the reelection of Burhan Ghalioun as leader, and which ultimately culminated in his resignation. Sharo feels the sectarian infighting reflects growing frustration among youthful opposition protestors with the SNC’s inability to transform their organizing efforts into political gains.
The SNC: a Creation of the Council on Foreign Relations
This might relate to the rarely reported fact that the SNC is a creation of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a highly secretive elite roundtable group founded in 1921 by the Rockefeller family. According to Charlie Skelton, one of the few “mainstream” reporters to cover the recent Bilderberg conference in Chantilly Virginia, Basma Kodmani, a SNC co-founder and executive committee member, is also a member of the CFR. She was an invited guest at last week’s Bilderberg (another secretive roundtable elite) conference, as well as the 2008 Bilderberg Group meeting.
Skelton refers readers to the Syrian National Council website, which indicates the SNC is a non profit public policy research organization registered in the District of Colombia and headquartered in Washington DC. Sounds to me like a puppet government in waiting to oversee a US/NATO occupation of Syria – just like the ones the Bush administration installed to oversee the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
by stuartbramhall in Things That Aren't What They Seem
(This is the third of five posts about the American godfather of nonviolent resistance, Gene Sharp, and the role of CIA and Pentagon-funded foundations and think tanks in funding and promoting nonviolent resistance.)
In my last blog I discussed Stephen Zunes’ strongly worded article and petition defending so-called progressive nonviolent guru Gene Sharp and the rebuttal, Sharp Reflection Warranted, by Australian researcher Michael Barker. The response by Canadian activist Stephen Gowans, Defending the Indefensible: Sham Democracy Promoter Defends Imperialist Ties, is even more critical. He begins by questioning why Zunes, a paid adviser to the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), an organization founded by former junk bond king Michael Milken’s right-hand man Peter Ackerman, continues to defend “non-violent pro-democracy” activists who promote “overthrow” movements abroad. Gowans is most troubled by Zunes’ dismissal of Eva Golinger’s Monthly Review expose, Bush vs. Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela, which discusses assistance Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) provided the Venezuelan opposition to help them find “new and inventive ways to overthrow Chavez.”
A Classic Straw Man Argument
Gowans also points out that Zunes’ defense of Sharp rests almost entirely on a straw man argument concerning so-called “fabricated allegations,” that Sharp is part of a Bush administration conspiracy to overthrow foreign governments. It’s a straw man argument mainly because none of Sharp’s critics have specifically linked him to the Bush presidency. Sharp has been criticized mainly for accepting funding from and acting (whether intentionally or not) on behalf of US corporate and government interests. As Gowans rightly points out, these forces are much broader than the Bush administration.
Zunes’ Links with Peter Ackerman and the CFR
He goes on to argue that Zunes is hardly a neutral or objective party in this debate, given his involvement with Peter Ackerman and the ICNC. Ackerman, hardly the progressive peace activist, is a Wall Street investment banker, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and head of Freedom House which, according to Noam Chomsky (in Manufacturing Consent), is interlocked with the CIA and a “virtual propaganda arm of the (US) government and international right wing.” According to Louis Proyect, Ackerman is also on the advisory board of the ultraconservative Cato Institute’s Project on Social Security Choice. Not surprisingly, this group strongly advocates privatizing Social Security.
Rationalizing Government Funding for the Peace Movement
Zunes, according to Sharp, devotes two pages to rubbishing the charges against Sharp, only to reinforce the case his critics have been making. He does so by revealing that the AEI
• is funded by corporate foundations.
• is open to accepting funding from organizations that have received funding from government sources (i.e., accepts government funding passed through intermediary organizations, such as the Ford Foundation, Rand Corporation, US Institute for Peace, etc.).
• has received grants from the US Congress’s National Endowment for Democracy (an organization that does overtly what the CIA used to do covertly.).
• has advised members of the Venezuelan opposition.
As Gowans stresses, Zunes clearly would like us to believe that nonviolent pro-democracy groups are not influenced by the corporations and wealthy individuals who fund them. Gowans’ article concludes by referring readers to Frances Stonor Saunders’ 2000 Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. Her book reveals that “non-communist left” groups receive generous funding from corporate foundations and the CIA. According to Saunders, the underlying strategy is to marginalize more militant leftists by amplifying the voice of the “pro-imperialist non-communist left.”
To be continued.
by stuartbramhall in Sustainability
(This is the first of four blogs about the Club of Rome, which along with Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, is an important think tank in the Round Table network of world elites. Bill Clinton’s mentor Carroll Quigley describes their history and function in his 1966 book Tragedy and Hope.)
I arrived in London in June 1973, a week after graduating from medical school. My first order of business was finding somewhere cheap to stay for two months. I was awaiting my future husband’s release from HMP Brixton and was forbidden to work on a visitor’s visa. He was in Brixton on a charge of demolishing a turning vehicle that ran into him as he was crossing the street. He didn’t exactly dismantle it. He just tore off one of the doors and the front bumper. Because he was unable to pay for the repairs, the insurance company had him arrested.
I started out at a student hostel which cost 2 ½ pounds ($6.25) a week. From there, I moved to Tent City in East Acton, which charged us one pound weekly ($2.50) to sleep in sleeping bags in enormous circus tents. It was there I learned about the tenement building in Bethnal Green that Christian Action was rehabilitating. It was set up as a hostel, only they paid us to stay there, provided we spent a few hours a day scraping paint off the walls.
There were about twenty of us, all but two of us international students touring Britain for the summer holidays. In return for scraping paint, we got free room and board and 2 1/2 pounds a week. We started work at 10:00, had a fifteen minute tea break at 11:30, a half hour lunch break at 12:30, and a second tea break at 2:00. We knocked off for the day at 3:30. At 5:30 they gave us dinner. We didn’t work weekends, but they gave us breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday, as well,
What Were They Paying Us For?
Needless to say, not a whole lot of paint got removed from the walls. Several of us suspected we had been lured there for ulterior motives. Providing two or three of us with paint stripping chemicals and sanders would have been far more efficient and cheaper. Yet despite Christian Action designation as a church sponsored group, there was no attempt to indoctrinate us – about religion at least. In fact there was no mention whatsoever of Christianity.
It was a great adventure in communal living. I had one day off from scraping to serve on kitchen duty. In addition to setting out bread rolls and muesli for breakfast, I had to do all the washing-up, as well as the shopping and cooking for both a meat and vegetarian option for lunch and dinner.
After a month I was relieved of kitchen duty and given a promotion and raise. I now had the job of going to the Christian Action office in downtown London to collect the week’s payroll. In return for this additional responsibility, I was paid five pounds ($12.50) a week.
Taking Us Downtown to See Limits to Growth
I had been doing this for two weeks when all of us got a day off, so the project manager could take us to the Christian Action office on the bus. He wanted us to see a very important film called Limits to Growth, produced by the Club of Rome. It was based on their 1972 book by the same name. Officially the film wasn’t released until 1974. However I and the other volunteers working in the Bethnal Green tenement got to see a preview in August 1973.
I have yet to find any evidence of a link between Christian Action and the Club of Rome or any of the other usual culprits (i.e the CIA linked “democracy” manipulating foundations involved in indoctrinating foreign youth). It’s possible there are links of this nature that are yet to be exposed. It’s equally possible someone in the Christian Action leadership had read the book or seen the film and thought these were ideas young people should be exposed to.
According to www.wordcat.org (a catalog linking the world’s libraries), the film Limits to Growth “examines pros and cons of continued worldwide economic growth as compared to a leveling off of growth in population, capital investments, and material goods to the point of a steady economy.” I don’t recall any mention of population control. All I remember was a warning that we needed to reduce consumption because of pollution and limited resources. There was a specific proposal for families to share washing machines and household appliances, instead of each household buying their own.
Betty Friedan: an Original Member of the Club of Rome
At the time this seemed like a good idea. It still does. In 1978, I would read a similar viewpoint in feminist Betty Friedan’s 1963 Feminist Mystique. In her landmark book, Friedan rails against corporations and advertising firms for brainwashing women to believe they were inadequate unless they each had their own washing machine, dryer and humongous fridge-freezer. It’s only recently that I learned that Friedan was an original member of the Club of Rome.
In 1973 I had no idea the Club of Rome was a think tank made up of global elites seeking to influence government policies. Would knowing this have made any difference? I doubt it. Learning about the Trilateral Commission a few months earlier merely confirmed what I already believed: that you to be worth at least a million dollars to have any influence in America’s so-called democracy.
Ironically it was the French students, all Marxists and fresh from the 1968 French general strike, that I met in Bethnal Green who convinced me otherwise. They were the ones who convinced me that the US, like all industrialized countries, had an organized left that influenced government through grassroots organizing and direct action. And inspired me to seek it out when I returned to the US eighteen months later.
by stuartbramhall in The Global Economic Crisis
Book Review (Part 2 of 3)
Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
Carroll Quigley (1966 MacMillan)
Tragedy and Hope is a free download
After providing a basic introduction to the fractional reserve banking system, Tragedy and Hope goes on to list the banking dynasties that have held near absolute control of the global money supply since 1694. A long time Washington insider (and mentor to Bill Clinton), Quigley identifies the banking cartel formed by Frankfurt banker Meyer Rothschild as the most powerful. At the time of his death, Rothschild’s five sons each controlled a major investment bank in Vienna, London, Naples, Paris and Frankfurt. Quigley lists the investment bank formed by the J.P. Morgan family as second to the Rothschild banks in power and influence, followed by the Baring Brothers, Morgan Grenfell, the Lazard Brothers, Erlanger, Warbur, Shroder, Seligman, the Speyers, Mirabaud, Mallet and Fould.
Prior to 1932, investment banks were mostly privately owned and operated (unlike publicly traded corporations). This allowed their owners to conduct their affairs (i.e. their secret meetings with foreign investment banks) in total secrecy, as well as pass both ownership and control to their heirs. In the second half of the 19th century, some investment bankers used their immense financial holdings to gain direct control of important sectors of the productive economy in addition to their banking interests. The Rothschilds ultimately came to dominate many of the European railroads, as well as acquiring a major interest in European oil companies, while Morgan eventually controlled 26,000 miles of American railroad.
The Council on Foreign Relations
Quigley also talks about the network of secret round tables of international corporate and banking elites started by Cecil Rhodes and expanded perpetuated by his followers with the sizable estate he left them. At their founding, they had the stated purpose of spreading British the virtues of “ruling class” tradition throughout the English speaking world and solidifying the political power and influence of the British Empire. The US Council on Foreign Relations, one of the secret round tables started by Rhodes’ followers, was started in 1919, with the explicit goal of influencing the foreign and domestic policies of a former colony over which Britain no longer had direct control.
How English Banks Controlled the US Government
According to Quigley, the US was consistently a debtor nation prior to World War I. Following the 1776 revolution, US government and businesses continued to borrow funding for industrial and colonial expansion from English and European investment banks. The American banker, JP Morgan, collaborated with European investment banks to dictate US foreign and domestic policy. They did so by threatening to destroy the US economy by 1) refusing to renew treasury bonds (issued in return for bank loans) 2) causing a panic by throwing large numbers of shares on the stock market or 3) destroying the value of railroads and other companies they owned by loading them up with worthless assets. Quigley relates how they engaged in all three tactics at various times throughout the 19th century, resulting in a series of booms, panics, recessions and depressions that wreaked havoc with American economic development.
How the Gold Standard Caused Deflation
Prior to 1932, when the US and most other countries went off the gold standard, investment banks forced all western governments to enact policies that created deflation by limiting the money supply. A constant or shrinking money supply during periods of industrial expansion substantially increases the demand for credit, which allows banks to jack up interest rates. Baby boomers will recall when they did this to Carter – just before he lost to Ronald Reagan. Interest rates shot up to 12%, accompanied by massive unemployment.
During most of the 19th century, international investment banks collaborated to enforce this deflationary policy by forcing all western governments to agree to a gold standard, tying all currency to a fixed amount of gold. Because the gold supply was constant, this forced countries like the US to finance a period of rapid industrial expansion with a shrinking money supply. Even though industry and agriculture were booming, producers had no choice but to lower their prices because people had no money to buy them.
The agricultural sector suffered most during this period. Farmers who took out high interest bank mortgages were forced to sell their crops to bank-controlled food processors at prices that were far below the repayments they owed the banks. As a consequence, banks managed to seize much of their lands. Only North Dakotan farmers figured out how to escape their grasp by lobbying the legislature to form America’s first and only state-owned bank (the Bank of North Dakota) in 1919.
To be continued.
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on the Working Class, Things That Aren't What They Seem
The Role of Left Gatekeeping Foundations
To fully understand the role of International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) and its sister foundations in promoting a de facto taboo on violent protest in the North America, it’s helpful to understand the role they have played in galvanizing the “color” revolutions in the Philippines, Eastern Europe and elsewhere now the Middle East and North Africa. According to Australian journalist and research Michael Barker (http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/38214), this role (in the Philippines, Nicaragua, Chile and Haiti) was first identified in William I. Robinson’s groundbreaking 2006 book Promoting Polyarchy. “Polyarchy” is defined “low intensity democracy” – a form of government that replaces violent coercive control with the type of ideological control (i.e. brainwashing) that Noam Chomsky describes in Manufacturing Consent. As Ward Churchill (in Pacifism as Pathology) and Peter Gelderloos (in How Nonviolence Protects the State) clearly articulate, white middle class activists have very complex psychological reasons for their dogmatic attitude towards political violence. However I feel it’s also important to look at the role played by the US government and the corporate elite in covertly promoting these attitudes.
In Promoting Polyarchy, Robinson describes how the CIA, the FBI and other intelligence agencies were pressured to cut back on many of their more repressive covert activities (i.e. covert assassination) as a result of Church committee reforms enacted in the 1970s. This resulted, in 1984, in the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which works closely with the CIA and the US Agency for International Development (the USAID is a well-documented conduit for CIA funding), as well as other “democracy manipulating” foundations, such as US Institute for Peace, the Albert Einstein Institute, the Arlington Institute, Freedom House and the International Republican Institute. Robinson specifically outlines how these US-based “democracy manipulating organizations” orchestrated “non-violent” revolutions in the Philippines and Chile to prevent genuinely democratic governments from coming to power, as well as sabotaging democratically elected governments in Nicaragua and Haiti (where they caused the ouster of the Sandinista government and the populist priest Jean Bastion Aristide).
Since then numerous studies have furnished further examples where these organizations have infiltrated and “channeled” (i.e. co-opted) the genuine mass movements that form naturally in countries dominated by repressive dictators. The goal is to make sure they don’t go too far in demanding economic rights (for example, labor rights or restrictions on foreign investment) that might be detrimental to the interests of multinational corporations. All the “color” revolutions in Eastern Europe, which also received substantial funding from George Soros’ Open society Institute, have been a major disappointment owing to their failure to bring about genuine change (see http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2006/09/29/the-color-revolutions-fade-to-black/).
The ICNC’s PBS Documentary
Barker’s work goes even further than Robinson’s, examining the effect of the ICNC in particular, on progressive organizing within the US. He points to the phenomenal influence of the 2000 book and PBS documentary (and now computer game) A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Change.
The ICNC is understandably defensive about research by Barker and others linking them to the NED and other “democracy manipulating” foundations. In fact their website devotes an entire page “Setting the Record” straight http://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/index.php/about-icnc/setting-the-record-straight, in which they refute these studies. Their main argument is that they receive no NED or other foundation or government funding. This is totally factual, as they’re entirely funded by their co-founder Peter Ackerman, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and his wife Joanne Leedom-Ackerman. Ackerman earned his fortune as a specialist in leveraged buyouts, the second highest paid in Wall Street history (Michael Milken made more but wound up in jail.)
Why Is the ICNC Seeking to Oust Hugo Chavez?
Barker refers to the argument over the source of their funding as whitewashing, especially in view of the recent collaboration between the ICNC and the Albert Einstein Institute in training members of the Venezuelan resistance seeking to oust democratically elected Hugo Chavez.
As Barker points out, both Ackerman and his wife and ICNC co-founder Jack Duvall have a long history of working for and with the other “democracy promoting” foundations. In addition many of the vice presidents and other officers they hire to run the ICNC seem to connections to US or foreign military/intelligence operations or other “democracy promoting” foundations.
This is clear from the following three diagrams, which summarize the “democracy manipulating” and military intelligence links of the people who run the ICNC (see http://quotha.net/node/1606 and http://quotha.net/node/1609 for a detailed explanation of each of these links and an explanation of their role in “democracy manipulating”):
A detailed description of ICNC co-founder Jack Duvall’s “democracy manipulating” links can be found at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jack_DuVall
by stuartbramhall in Challenging the Corporate Media, Things That Aren't What They Seem
Attorney General Robert Kennedy was the first, in 1967, to investigate the use of the Ford Foundation and other foundations as “conduits,” “pass-throughs,” and “fronts” to disguise CIA funding for domestic operations (it’s technically illegal for the CIA to operate on US soil under federal law). The investigation ended with Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 but in 1976 was taken up by the Church Committee, a Senate Select Committee formed in the aftermath of Watergate. The Church Committee found that between 1963-1966, 164 foundations gave out 700 grants over $10,000. Of these, 108 involved partial or complete funding by the CIA (Frances Stoner Saunders, Who Paid the Piper?: the CIA and the Cultural Cold War)
Saunder’s work was the first, in an impressive body of research by progressive academics and investigative journalists:
- Who Paid the Piper?: the CIA and the Cultural Cold War (1999) by British historian and journalist Frances Stonor Saunders
- Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (2003) by New Hampshire political science professor Joan Roelof
- The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007) by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence
- The Shock Doctrine (2007) by Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein
- Towers of Deception: the Media Cover-up of 911 (2006) by Canadian journalist, documentary producer and political activist Barry Zwicker
- Barack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography (2008) by historian and journalist Webster Tarpley
CIA Funding of Alternative Media
Most of the research into left gatekeeping foundations involves the funding of so-called alternative media outlets, largely based on information derived from tax returns. The most prolific writer in this area is Massachusetts-based investigative journalist Bob Feldman. Feldman published the bulk of his research in a paper in Critical Sociology “Report from the Field: Left Media and Left Think Tanks – Foundation-Managed Protest?” Although Critical Sociology charges a fee to download this paper, Feldman and others have republished excerpts elsewhere on the Internet. Edward Ulrich published a helpful digest of Feldman’s work in March 2011 at his blog “News of Interest” at http://www.newsofinterest.tv/politics/media_issues/demnow_npr_controlled.php
The History of CIA/Ford Foundation Collaboration
Feldman starts (http://www.questionsquestions.net/gatekeepers.html) by recapping the history Frances Sanders lays out in Who Paid the Piper?: the CIA and the Cultural Cold War).
The Ford Foundation was created in 1936 from the immense Ford family fortune. Historically its governance and mission has been conservative and pro-corporate, in line with its namesake Henry Ford, a rabid anti-Semite who admired Adolph Hitler and helped finance his rise to power.
The CIA-Ford Foundation collaboration began in 1953, when John McCloy, another Nazi sympathizer, because the director of the Ford Foundation. McCloy’s corporate credentials include serving as chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, Westinghouse, AT&T, Allied Chemical and United Fruit Company. As a lawyer, he served as chief counsel to Standard Oil of New Jersey, Mobil, Texaco and Gulf I.G. Farben (German chemical company that was Hitler’s primary German sponsor and which developed the nerve gas used in the mass execution of European Jews). Mcloy watched the 1936 Berlin Olympics from Hitler’s box seat and as the Assistant Secretary of War, blocked Jewish immigration to the US, as well as the bombing of railroads leading to Nazi concentration camps. As High Commissioner of Germany following the war, he pardoned a large majority of Nazi war criminals and assisted in their secret repatriation in the US and South America. Finally in 1963-64 he served on the Warren Commission, which like the 911 Commission, played a critical role covering up FBI, CIA and Pentagon involvement in the JFK assassination.
McCloy publicly advocated for the Ford Foundation to cooperate with the CIA. He argued that open collaboration was a better alternative than having the Agency secretly infiltrate the Foundation’s lower echelons and subvert their work. McCloy also chaired a three man committee that had to be consulted every time the CIA wanted to use the Foundation as a pass-through.
Ford Foundation archives reveal a raft of joint Foundation-CIA projects. The most prominent of these CIA fronts are the Eastern European Fund, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and International Rescue Committee (where William van den Heuvel, father of Nation editor and publisher Katrina van den Heuvel, was a long time board member). The Ford Foundation has also been the primary funder of two secret elite planning groups, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
Alternative Media Outlets Funded by the Ford Foundation
According to Feldman, the so-called alternative media outlets receiving Ford Foundation funding (based on their tax returns) include:
- Democracy Now!
- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and their radio program Counterspin
- Working Assets Radio
- The Progressive
- Mother Jones
- South End Press (Z Magazine)
- Alternative Radio
- Ms. Magazine
- Political Research Associates (run by rabid anti-conspiracist Chip Berlet)
As Feldman points out, each of these outlets has systematically marginalized independent researchers who have systematically studied 9-11 and the JFK and other political assassinations. Feldman currently blogs at “Where’s the Change?” http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/
To be continued.
by stuartbramhall in China Watch
I have just read a fascinating article, “Africa’s Eastern Promise” in Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/65916/deborah-brautigam/africa%E2%80%99s-eastern-promise). I hear people groaning already, as most activists view the CFR – consisting of corporate executives and their favorite politicians, academics and media personalities – as the promotional arm of the ruling elite. I wouldn’t want it to become widely known that I sometimes read Foreign Affairs.
However to my surprise, the article contrasts US development policy in Africa quite unfavorably with what the Chinese are doing. It refers to US policy as “trade liberalization (free trade)” policy. Whereas strictly speaking, US policy in Africa is a combination of free trade/CIA covert destabilization/overt military strategy. America’s free trade policy – which consists of dumping cheap US products on African markets – happens to be extremely unpopular, in Africa and elsewhere. For putting thousands of local farmers and companies out of business.
Divisions in the Ruling Elite About US Foreign Policy
While this particular article doesn’t directly address America’s use of full spectrum military dominance in securing access to oil and other strategic resources, it does point to clear advantages (such as guaranteeing China access to energy and mineral resources, while simultaneously aiding development, expanding the Chinese economy and building strong trade and potential military alliances). Which suggests to me that there are clear divisions among the ruling elite about US foreign policy.
“African’s Eastern Promise” indicates that the Chinese are pursuing a resource driven development strategy in Africa – similar to their strategy in Pakistan (see my Sept 23 blog “Iran, China and the Gwadar Port”) – but on a far grander scale.
Chinese policy in Africa consists of a dual approach – resource-backed loans and a Chinese initiative to establish special trade and economic cooperative zones within various African countries.
Chinese Resource-backed Loans
Africa is quite resource rich (mainly oil, copper and other minerals). Thus far Chinese has initiated loans to seven African countries, which have pledged oil and resources as collateral.
- Angola – three oil-backed loans to fund the construction of roads, railways, hospitals, schools, and water systems.
- Nigeria – two oil-backed loans to finance projects to convert natural gas to electricity
- Congo – oil-backed loan for a Chinese-built hydropower plant, as well as a projected $3 billion copper-backed loan
- Ghana – infrastructure loan to be repaid in cacao beans
Some of the benefits of such loans include extremely competitive interest rates (1.25 to 1.75% – in contrast to Western loans charging 6 – 6.5% interest or more) – as well as a kind of insurance African leaders will use the loans to fund infrastructure rather than palaces and yachts. The main drawback has been a tendency for Chinese companies to import Chinese workers and to pay really low wages when they do employ local workers. However African countries are wising up and setting stricter conditions about employing local contractors and treating workers fairly.
Special Trade and Economic Cooperation Zones
Thus far, China has set up Special Trade and Economic Cooperation Zones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Zambia and Algeria. Their purpose is to create a favorable environment for Chinese companies to move to African to set up business For the most part these have proven very effective in promoting industrialization, employment and infrastructure development in very disadvantaged areas of the continent.
Chinese Investment in African Farm Land
“Africa’s Eastern Promise” doesn’t cover the issue of Chinese farmers and agricultural companies buying up and leasing African farm land. However a number of other sources (see below) suggest that while China was a pioneer in this area – which enabled them to establish key relationships that made their innovative trade deals possible – Chinese investment in African farm land is greatly surpassed by other players (mainly Indian, South Korean, UAE, Saudi Arabian, European and US Companies)