Monday, April 4, 2016

NGOs: The Missionaries of the United States Empire - Fronts for the CIA Part 3

Please see my past posts on this issue located here and here. This post is not about Human Rights Watch, but, it is still related to the same topic. 

Many people know that the CIA funds various covert operations throughout the world. They do this through front organizations including known CIA operations groups which funnel funds to “various non-governmental agencies” (NGOs) which then use those funds to achieve objectives both foreign and domestic.  There is a tremendous history of this funneling to quasi-private organizations … but it’s also interesting how overt some of it is.  Much of how the CIA operates has bubbled up due to failures and successes around the world in places like Venezuela, Egypt, Libya, Haiti, Pakistan and Eastern Europe thanks to some American whistle-blowers.


The #1 thing you have to understand about this…all of this taxpayer money (your money) that is being spent to further geopolitical and corporate goals is not just money spent to overthrow foreign governments…a good amount of that money is being spent to influence the hearts and minds in America too. 


America is a case study of how to successfully let the tail wag the dog; there are LOTS of journalists, editors and influential people on the take (propaganda assets).  And there is always a concerted effort to punish those of us who know or attempt to share any semblance of truth. (See herehere, here, here, here, for what I wrote about the Phoenix Program and the system they have set up to find potential political dissidents. This is the precursor to Homeland Security and it is a joint operation between the intelligence agencies. See here for the origins of Homeland Security. See here and here for some of the tactics they use. See here for some more about CIA front groups that are set up near political dissidents.)
To see a video introduction with Mike Wallace about NGO's, Charities and Think Tanks that front for the CIA, see here. This video series is from 1967,  but that doesn’t make it any less relevant to today. The explanation of how the CIA operates begins at about 5:23.

One point I want to make about this, in some situations, the CIA has decided to select a strategy to create revolutions in countries that are non-bloody and leave very little trace of what they are doing. A case example would be to occupy a country by infiltrating its government and media, then begin to influence elections. They would then proceed to take the country over without anyone really knowing what is going on. We can see something similar happening in Canada right now. Canada has pretty much become another state of the USA, just like Israel has.
Non-governmental organizations are an increasingly important part of the 21st century international landscape performing a variety of humanitarian tasks pertaining to issues of health, poverty, the environment and civil liberties. However, there is a dark side to NGOs. They have been and are currently being used as tools of foreign policy, specifically with the United States. Instead of using purely military force, the US has now moved to using NGOs as tools in its foreign policy implementation, good examples of this are the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House.

National Endowment for Democracy
According to its website, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world,” however this is sweet sounding description is actually quite far from the truth.
The history of the NED begins immediately after the Reagan administration. Due to the massive revelations concerning the CIA in the 1970s, specifically that they were involved in attempted assassinations of heads of state, the destabilization of foreign governments, and were illegally spying on the US citizens, this tarnished the image of the CIA and of the US government as a whole. While there were many committees that were created during this time to investigate the CIA, the Church Committee (led by Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho) was of critical importance as its findings “demonstrated the need for perpetual surveillance of the intelligence community and resulted in the creation of the permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.” The Select Committee on Intelligence’s purpose was to oversee federal intelligence activities and while oversight and stability came in, it seemed to signal that the CIA’s ‘party’ of assassination plots and coups were over. Yet, this was to continue, but in a new way: under the guise of a harmful NGO whose purpose was to promote democracy around the world- the National Endowment for Democracy.
The NED was meant to be a tool of US foreign policy from its outset. It was the brainchild of Allen Weinstein who, before creating the Endowment, was a professor at Brown and Georgetown Universities, had served on the Washington Post’s editorial staff, and was the Executive Editor of The Washington Quarterly, Georgetown’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, a right-wing neoconservative think tank which would in the future have ties to imperial strategists such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.  He stated in a 1991 interview that “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” 
The first director of the Endowment, Carl Gershman, outright admitted that the Endowment was a front for the CIA. In 1986 he stated:
We should not have to do this kind of work covertly. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created. (emphasis added)
 It can be further observed that the Endowment is a tool of the US government as ever since its founding in 1983, it “has received an annual appropriation approved by the United States Congress as part of the United States Information Agency budget.”
No sooner than the Endowment was founded did it begin funding groups that would support US interests. From 1983 to 1984, the Endowment was active in France and “supported a ‘trade union-like organization that for professors and students’ to counter ‘left-wing organizations of professors,’” through the funding of seminars, posters, books, and pamphlets that encouraged opposition to leftist thought. In the mid and late 1990s, the NED continued its fight against organized labor by giving in excess of $2.5 million to the American Institute of Free Labor Development which was a CIA front used to undermine progressive labor unions.
Later on, the Endowment became involved in interfering with elections in Venezuela and Haiti in order to undermine left-wing movements there. The NED is and continues to be a source of instability in nations across the globe that don’t kneel before US imperial might. Yet the Endowment funds another pseudo-NGO: Freedom House.
Freedom House
Freedom House was originally founded in 1941 as a pro-democracy and pro-human rights organization. While this may have been true in the past, in the present day, Freedom House is quite involved in pushing US interests in global politics and its leaders have connections to rather unsavory organizations, such as former Executive Director David Kramer being a Senior Fellow to the Project for the New American Century, many of whose members are responsible for the current warmongering status of the US. 
During the Bush administration, the President used Freedom House to support the so-called War on Terror. In a March 29, 2006 speech, President Bush stated that Freedom House “declared the year 2005 was one of the most successful years for freedom since the Freedom House began measuring world freedom more than 30 years ago” and that the US should not rest “until the promise of liberty reaches every people and every nation” because “In this new century, the advance of freedom is a vital element of our strategy to protect the American people, and to secure the peace for generations to come.” 
Later, it was revealed that Freedom House became more and more supportive of the Bush administration’s policies because of the funding it was getting from the US government. According to its own internal report in 2007, the US government was providing some 66% of funding for the organization. This funding mainly came from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US State Department, and the National Endowment for Democracy. Thus, we see not only the political connection of Freedom House to US government but major financial connections as well.
It should be noted, however, that Freedom House was not alone in supporting the government. Under the Bush administration, the US government forced NGOs to become more compliant to their demands. In 2003, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios stated in a speech given at a conference of NGOs that in Afghanistan the relationship between NGOs and USAID does affect the survival of the Karzai regime and that Afghans “believe [their life] is improving through mechanisms that have nothing to do with the U.S. government and nothing to do with the central government. That is a very serious problem.” On the situation in Iraq, Natsios stated that when it comes to NGO work in the country “proving results counts,but showing a connection between those results and U.S. policy counts as well.” (emphasis added) NGOs were essentially told that they were tools of the US government and were being made part of the imperial apparatus.
Most recently, Freedom House was active in the Arab Spring, where they aided in the training and financing of civil society groups and individuals “including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen.” 



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