Posts Tagged ‘webster tarpley’
by stuartbramhall in Things That Aren't What They Seem
Wesbster Tarpley, in Barrack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography, uses the example of the Ford Foundation to outline how left gatekeeper foundations, often backed by CIA funding, have taken over some of the Cointelpro-type counterinsurgency functions of the US government. It’s really impossible to understand who Obama is or why he makes predominantly pro-corporate policy choices without understanding the Chicago left gatekeeping foundations he worked for prior to entering political life (see “The President with No Past” at http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-President-with-No-Past-by-Dr-Stuart-Jeanne-B-110411-30.html).
Tarpley quotes extensively from conservative political commentator Heather MacDonald, “The Billions of Dollars that Made Things Worse,” City Journal, Autumn 1992 (http://www.city-journal.org/html/6_4_a1.html); Philadelphia attorney and writer Vincent Salandria “The Promotion of Domestic Discord,” October 23, 1971 (http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/16th_Issue/vs2.html); and immigration activist Tamar Jacoby, “McGeorge Bundy: How the Establishment’s Man Tackled the Problem With Race” (http://www.aliciapatterson.org/APF1303/Jacoby/Jacoby.html). He also cities MacDonald’s work in describing the pressure put on the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Carnegie Foundation (which they succumbed to) to follow the Ford Foundation’s example.
McGeorge Bundy: Former Army Intelligence Officer
What comes through clearly from these early investigations into left gatekeeping is that McGeorge Bundy, who assumed the leadership of the Ford Foundation in 1966, was principally responsible for expanding the Foundation’s counterinsurgency functions (which under McCloy were focused mainly overseas) to America’s progressive movement. A former army intelligence officer and National Security Adviser to both Kennedy and Johnson, Bundy was largely responsible for the cynical “strategic hamlets” policy in Vietnam.
Using Race to Divide the Progressive Movement
When Bundy left government to run the Ford Foundation, he was very open in his view that efforts by Martin Luther King and the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee to merge the struggle of the black community with the labor and antiwar movement posed a serious threat to the establishment (i.e. Wall Street) interests. His response was to have the Ford Foundation use its grant making power to create factional divisions in an exploding movement that was demanding an end to the Vietnam War. The result was a massive shift in the Foundation’s agenda away from broad economic needs – such as housing, education, mass transit and health care – to a number of black and Latino organizations that specifically targeted blue collar racism as the cause of minority disadvantage. According to Heather MacDonald, education resources were re-allocated to funding race-based organizations, which went from 2.5% of grant funding in 1966 to 40% in 1970. MacDonald and Salandria also describe some of the militant black and Latino organizations these grants went to and how they were used to launch divisive race-baiting campaigns against working class whites.
Another of Bundy’s strategic moves was to break up the traditional black-Jewish progressive coalition in New York City. He did so by funding minority community coalitions to churn out rabidly anti-Semitic propaganda directed at leftist Jewish teachers and administrators, many of whom had radical New Deal backgrounds. The demand posed by these community groups (backed by $1.4 million from the Ford Foundation) for the right to arbitrary fire teachers was a blatant violation of their union contract and an important precipitant of the disastrous 1968 teachers’ strike.
Richard Nixon: the Father of Affirmative Action
In 1968, Bundy, Richard Nixon and his secretary of labor George Schultz collaborated in pushing affirmative active and quota legislation (Martin Luther King had opposed affirmative action and quotas, due to their inherent divisiveness). In meetings with Republican Congressional leaders, Nixon acknowledged that his primary agenda in sponsoring mandatory hiring quotas was to “split the Democratic Constituency and drive a wedge between civil rights groups and organized labor.” (Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era, New York: Oxford, 1990).
I find this extremely ironic. Exactly as Bundy, Nixon and Schultz predicted, these policies have created an enormous white blue collar backlash, which the Republicans have used very successfully to capture working class votes. Yet many progressives still mistakenly believe that affirmative action originated with the civil rights movement.
To be continued, with a personal account of left gatekeeper Cointelpro-type operations in Washington State’s single payer movement.
by stuartbramhall in Things That Aren't What They Seem
The two most prolific contemporary writers regarding foundation funded Cointelpro-style counterinsurgency tactics are historian and journalist Webster Tarpley (in Barack H Obama: the Unauthorized Autobiography) and Australian-born academic researcher Michael Barker. A list and link to all Barker’s publications (which include fascinating articles on Noam Chomsky’s anti-conspiracy views and the aggressive promotion of “non-violent protest” by CIA-funded foundations) can be found on his website and blog at http://michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com/ My sense, related to direct personal experience with foundation-funded “astroturf” (see * below) and “counterinsurgency” activity in the single payer movement, is that the domestic variant of left gatekeeping tends to rely less on CIA or other government funding than on direct right wing corporate funding.
Barker’s articles devote particular attention to the role played by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Institute for Peace, the Albert Einstein Institute, the Arlington Institute, Freedom House, the NED-funded Human Rights Watch, the International Republican Institute and individual philanthropists (for example, Bill Gates and George Soros) in “democracy manipulating” activities overseas. (http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/38214).
However he also writes about the role three foundations (the Ford Foundation, the Benton Foundation and the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict) have played in “counterinsurgency” activities in the progressive movement within the US. His 2006 article “Corporate Fronts, Astroturf Groups and Co-opted Social Movements” (http://www.zcommunications.org/corporate-fronts-astroturf-groups-and-co-opted-social-movements-by-michael-barker) raises concerns about funding the World Social Forum, among other progressive groups, derives from CIA-linked foundations.
The Role of “Democracy Manipulating” Foundations Overseas
According to Barker the “democracy manipulating role” played by CIA-linked foundations 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.
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 assassinations) 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 the other “democracy manipulating” foundations listed above. Robinson specifically outlines how these US-based “democracy manipulating” foundations worked to bring about “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 (where they orchestrated the ouster of the Sandinista government) and Haiti (where they instigated a coup against the populist priest Jean Bastion Aristide).
Since then numerous studies (which Barker references on his website) have furnished further evidence where these foundations have infiltrated and “channeled” (i.e. co-opted) the genuine mass movements that form naturally in countries dominated by repressive dictators. The goal is too make sure they don’t go too far in demanding economic rights (for example, protections for organized labor 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 to citizens that supported them, owing to their failure to bring about genuine change (see http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2006/09/29/the-color-revolutions-fade-to-black/).
* Senator Lloyd Bentson, himself a long-time Washington and Wall Street insider, is credited with coining the term “astroturf lobbying” to describe the synthetic grassroots movements that now can be manufactured, for a fee, by a dozen or so public relations companies. The Tea Party movement, largely created and funded by the infamous Koch brothers, is probably the most high profile example of astroturfing (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/25/tea-party-koch-brothers)
To be continued.
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 Challenging the Corporate Media, Things That Aren't What They Seem
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.
by stuartbramhall in Things That Aren't What They Seem
In 1984, Obama left Business International Corporation (BIC), a known CIA front engaging in economic espionage (see http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2011/04/02/the-president-with-no-past-obamas-electability-in-2012/), to move to Chicago, where he became a civil rights lawer. From that point on, he only had indirect links with the CIA, through his involvement “left gatekeeping” foundations like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Gamaliel and Wood Foundations. His “official” biography reveals that he first gained public prominence as the first chairman of the board of the “liberal” Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). However strong links between CAC and Chicago’s business elite, as well as their successful attacks against teachers’ unions (by empowering Local School Councils to fire hundreds of teachers and principals), raise serious questions about CAC’s “liberal” credentials. This becomes especially significant in light of Obama’s appointment of former Chicago school district CEO and school privatization champion Arne Duncan as director of the Department of Education (see http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2011/03/21/obamas-neoliberal-stance-on-charter-schools/).
As Webster Tarpley points out in Barack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography, one of the strongest supporters of CAC was Chicago corporate mogul Thomas Ayers. By an amazing coincidence, Ayers was the father of the former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers. Nevertheless Tom Ayers has impeccable corporate credentials, which include heading Commonwealth Edison for seven years in the seventies, and serving on the board of General Dynamics, Searle, Chicago Pacific, Zenith, Northwest Industries, First National Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Tribune.
Bill Ayers, the Ex-Weatherman Terrorist
Stranger still Bill Ayers, the ex-Weatherman terrorist, wrote the grant to secure Annenberg funding for the CAC and credits himself as one of its co-founders. He was also influential in getting his friend Barack Obama, a 34 year old with no education credentials, appointed as CAC’s first chairman. Obama’s annual salary as board chairman was $70,000 (in addition to his substantial income from his law practice).
All this raises the tricky question of how Bill Ayers transformed himself from a bomb making terrorist facing the death penalty to a tenured Professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and pre-eminent education reformer. Many former Students for a Democratic Society (from which the Weathermen formed their splinter group) believe the Weather Underground was actually created by US intelligence, with the objective of discrediting, fragmenting and/or shutting down SDS. This view is substantiated by FBI documents that came to light in 1973 that reveal the role of agent provocateurs in instigating much of the violence attributed to the Weathermen. Ayers successfully used this evidence to get his weapons and bomb making charges dismissed.
The Difference Between a CIA Front and a Left-Gatekeeping Foundation
BIC, where Obama worked after graduating from Columbia in 1983, was considered a CIA front, as it engaged directly in economic intelligence gathering, which it shared with the CIA. The role of so-called left-gatekeeping foundations revolves less around intelligence gathering than around a variety of “counterinsurgency” activities aimed at suppressing genuine grassroots organizing.
These left gatekeeping foundations are an integral part of what professor Peter Dale Scott refers to as the “Deep State,” a complex network of corporate elites and government officials that secretly steers foreign and domestic policy behind the facade of democracy. Although the Ford Foundation and other foundations have openly collaborated with the CIA since the early fifties, it’s a subject that receives little attention in either the mainstream or so-called “alternative” media. I blog about this at “Affirmative Action: Nixon’s Brainchild” http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/07/24/affirmative-action-nixons-brainchild/ and “Lessons from the East German Stasi” http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/07/28/lessons-from-the-east-german-stasi/.
by stuartbramhall in Attacks on Civil Liberties, Things That Aren't What They Seem
As Dana Priest’s recent Washington Post expose reveals, the use of private contractors to spy on Americans (in addition to the proliferation of government spy agencies) has gone viral since the 2002 enactment of the Patriot Act. In fact some civil libertarians warn that Americans’ shrinking privacy and personal freedom is rapidly approaching that of communist East Germany under the Stasi (the East German secret police) – where one in sixteen residents were paid to report on their friends on neighbors.
Was There Domestic Spying Before 2002?
Based on 20 years experience as an anti-war and single payer activist in Seattle, I would hazard that that spying on political and community groups didn’t suddenly leap from non-existent to astronomic levels when it was “legalized” in 2002. It has always been my impression that it increased at a fairly steady rate with the rightward drift at all levels of government following Reagan’s election in 1980. I also believe that prior to the enactment of the Patriot Act, much of this domestic “counterinsurgency” activity occurred under the auspices of “left” identified foundations and think-tanks. These are private entities, funded through a combination of CIA monies and right wing philanthropy, that give the appearance of being autonomous – and genuinely progressive and liberal. However it appears that their true function is to restrict the acceptable range of progressive debate and political activity. Barry Zwicker calls them “left gatekeeprs (see July 19 and 24 blog)” and Webster Tarpley “counterinsurgency” foundations.
Left Gatekeeping Foundations and the Single Payer Movement
Most of my personal experience with these left gatekeeping foundations occurred as a single payer activist. In Washington State, the single payer movement was started by doctors in 1988, under the auspices of Physicians for a National Health Program. Between 1988 and 1993, when the Seattle chapter was run by and for health professionals, it expanded rapidly, attracted much public and media attention. It was also an important partner in a broader coalition that pressured the governor to appoint a blue ribbon health commission to develop a proposal for state based, publicly financed universal health care.
Then in 1993, when the health provider joined with Washington Gray Panthers to build a broad based coalition, we suddenly hit a roadblock. There were suddenly all kinds of difficulties, which on the surface amounted to a textbook case of Cointelpro infiltration. However unlike Cointelpro, the problems didn’t appear to originate with the FBI or the police, but with local “left” leaning think tanks and foundations. The tactics, however, were classic – with the appearance of quirky outsiders who tampered with our database, seized control of our contact list to launch rumor and character assassination campaigns, split our coalitions by launching parallel, competing organizations (focused on safer lobbying activities and mild reformism), and scared off new members by repeatedly picking fights at our meetings.
A Clear Pattern
In one case we discovered the operative had a history of similar behavior in Seattle’s first Anti-Gulf War Coalition (1991) and the Seattle chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. The pattern in all three cases was the same – getting control of the database and leadership and shutting all three down – including the single payer coalition.
It was only when Washington State joined a regional coalition with single payer activists from Oregon and California – the Pacific Rim Single Payer Summit – that I got some inkling of what was happening. The synchronicity activists from other states described – down to the exact political rhetoric and targeted personal attacks – was uncanny.
It’s safe to assume that specific left gatekeeping foundations involved in suppressing the single payer movement receive generous support from the powerful insurance lobby and Big Pharma – in addition to any CIA and right wing philanthropy. Both the insurance and the pharmaceutical industry stand to lose big under a publicly funded health care system (as the sole purchaser of medication for 300 million Americans, the government would force the drug companies to agree to massive volume discounts – this occurs in all industrialized countries with publicly funded health care).
I write about my personal experience, as a single payer activist, with left gatekeeping foundations in my recent memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.
Winner of 2011 Allbooks Editor’s Choice Award
Available in soft cover from Amazon
Other good links regarding left gatekeeper foundations:
Michael Barker Do Capitalists Fund Revolutions? (Barker has particular concerns about the foundations that fund the World Social Forum):
by stuartbramhall in Mind Control and Disinformation, Things That Aren't What They Seem
Who Did Obama Work for in Chicago?
From Webster Tarpley Barrack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography
Obama’s “official” biography reveals that he first gained public prominence in Chicago as the first chairman of the board of the “liberal” Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). However his first job out of law school was with the right leaning Business International Corporation, which was exposed in 1977 by the New York Times (on 12/27/77) as a front company for the CIA. Former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leader Carl Oglesby asserts in his recent biography (Ravens in the Storm) that BIC’s main goal was to infiltrate Left and student groups for US intelligence.
After leaving BIC, Obama became a civil rights lawyer and involved himself in a number of “progressive” foundations like CAC. However Tarpley, who examines the funding and specific activities of these foundations, questions the genuineness of their progressive credentials. All the evidence suggests they actually played a “gatekeeper” or “counterinsurgency” function similar to the programs McGeorge Bundy pioneered as head of the Ford Foundation (see July 21 blog).
McGeorge Bundy’s Toxic Legacy
In fact CAC itself, where Obama was a board member for six years (three years as chair), appears to have replicated Bundy’s 1968 strategy to pit minority boards (in Chicago they were called Local School Councils) against the New York City teachers’ unions. As Tarpley discovered, the campaign to give LSC’s the power to fire teachers and several hundred school principals – was championed, not by grassroots minorities groups, but by business interests headed by Thomas Ayers. Ayers, by coincidence, happens to be the father of Obama’s pal the former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. Tom Ayers also has impeccable corporate credentials, which include heading Commonwealth Edison for seven years in the seventies, and serving on the board of General Dynamics, Searle, Chico Pacific, Zenith, Northwest Industries, First National Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Tribune.
This may possibly explain his son Bill Ayers’ “magical ability” to secure foundation funding. Ayers wrote the grant to secure Annenberg funding for the CAC and he credits himself as one of its co-founders. He was also influential in getting his buddy Barack Obama, a 34 year old with no educational credentials whatsoever, appointed as CAC’s first chairman, for which he received an annual salary of $70,000 (in addition to the substantial income from his law practice).
By Obama’s own admission, the project on which CAC spent $100 million was unsuccessful. It not only failed to improve the educational achievement of black students, but also to meet “soft” targets, such as “self image,” “personal efficacy,” school attendance and persistence. What the CAC did accomplish, very successfully, was to drive a wedge between minority parents and the teachers unions when they could have united to block extensive federal and state educational cutbacks. It also threw Chicago schools into such chaos (deliberately it seems) that they became ripe for school privatization efforts, championed by the same elite business lobby that pushed through the 1988 School Reform Act (creating the Local School Councils).
Terrorist Bill Ayers’ Magical Transformation
This raises the tricky question of how Obama’s pal Bill Ayers transformed himself from a bomb making terrorist to a tenured Professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an pre-eminent education reformer. Tarpley, like other authors and researchers, alleges the Weather Underground was actually a US intelligence creation, formed with the specific objective of infiltrating and shutting down SDS. This view is substantiated by FBI documents that came to light 1973 revealing the role of agent provocateurs in infiltrating and instigating much of the violence attributed to the Weathermen – which Ayers used to have his weapons and bomb making charges dismissed.
Former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche has always alleged that the Weather Underground was funded by left “gatekeeping” foundations and think-tanks, specifically the Ford Foundation, the Institute for Policy Studies (founded in 1963 by an aide to McGeorge Bundy) and the Institute for Social Research. However as Tarpley points out, it has proven impossible to corroborate LaRouche’s charges without access to government and foundation archives, which at this point are closed to public scrutiny.
Nevertheless considerable circumstantial evidence supports these allegations. First and foremost is the striking “coincidence” that many of the Weather Underground leadership were, like Bill Ayers, the sons and daughters of wealthy members of the corporate elite. Second is the report of contemporary SDS members that the Weathermen, who did no fundraising to speak of, appeared to have unlimited funds to spend on organizing and military style training. Third are their classic (successful) Cointelpro style tactics in destroying SDS. And last the troubling question of how Bill Ayers can openly brag about his terrorist activities in his 2002 book Fugitive Days – and yet instead of facing the death penalty for conspiracy to commit murder, enjoys status and privilege as a tenured Professor of Education.
Andrew Murphy’s recent guest blog on Harry’s Place updates and lends further support to the scenario Tarpley lays out in his 2008 Barrack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography.
by stuartbramhall in Mind Control and Disinformation, Things That Aren't What They Seem
Affirmative Action: Nixon’s Brainchild
More from Webster Tarpley Barrack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography
There are a lot of misconceptions about the origin of affirmative action policies that require employers to hire and schools and universities to enroll a minimum percentage of women and minorities. Fox News would have you believe these policies came out of a vast left liberal conspiracy. The truth is that affirmative action and racial quotas and set asides were first rolled out by a Republican president – Richard M. Nixon – and his Secretary of Labor George Shultz – in collaboration with McGeorge Bundy and the Ford Foundation. This is another fascinating aspect of the hidden history of foundations that Webster Tarpley explores in his unauthorized biography of Obama.
It’s obvious from their own public commentary that the motives of these three men were anything but altruistic. Their intent in launching these programs was not to promote the interests of women and minorities – but to splinter and suppress a progressive voice in the Democratic Party that was becoming a threat to business interests. In meetings with Republican Congressional leaders, Nixon himself stressed the importance of exploiting the controversial Philadelphia Plan (a hiring mandate incorporating quotas in the largely white construction industry) to “drive a wedge between civil rights groups and organized labor.”
Who Was McGeorge Bundy?
Tarpley’s review of Bundy’s public life reveals his role in all this was pivotal. An army intelligence officer during World War II, he became National Security Advisor to both John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and was largely responsible for the cynical “strategic hamlets” policy in Vietnam. Bundy left government in 1966 to head of the Ford Foundation (until 1979), where he totally revamped the foundation’s agenda to focus on the oppression of African Americans and other minorities. This was accompanied by a simultaneous shift away from funding broad economic needs, such as housing, education, mass transit and health care – to more divisive political and cultural programs that specifically targeted white blue collar racism as the cause of minority disadvantage.
The Old Divide and Conquer Strategy
At the time Bundy, as a member of both Skull and Bones and the Foreign Relations Council, clearly identified with the Wall Street elite. It was his view that the efforts of Martin Luther King (who opposed racial quotas because of their inherent divisiveness) and the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee to merge the struggle of the black community with the labor and antiwar movement posed a serious threat to the business interests he represented. His strategic response was to target white blue collar workers as the main barrier to black self determination – and to pour millions of dollars of Ford Foundation funding into the work of race baiting black separatists and nationalists, affiliated with the Congress of Racial Equality. Tarpley specifically links the 1968 inner city riots (from which many African American communities have never fully recovered) to the propaganda activities of Ford funded community programs. Bundy was clearly guilty of incitement to riot, and Tarpley laments he was never prosecuted for it.
Another of Bundy’s strategic moves was to break up the traditional black-Jewish coalition in New York City. He did so by funding minority community coalitions to churn out rabidly anti-Semitic propaganda directed at leftist Jewish teachers and administrators, many of whom had radical New Deal backgrounds. The demand posed by these community groups (backed by $1.4 million from the Ford Foundation) for the right to arbitrarily hire and fire teachers was a blatant violation of their union contract and an important precipitant of the disastrous 1968 teacher’s strike.
Following Nixon’s election in 1968, he, Nixon and Shultz collaborated in pushing affirmative action legislation through Congress, which included a revival of the Philadelphia Plan (first trialed and abandoned under Lyndon Johnson) and the creation of the Equal Economic Opportunity Commission.
To be continued (with a fast forward to the foundations Obama worked for in Chicago)