How Left Gatekeeping Foundations
Suppress Dissent - Part I
(This is the first of two articles related to left gatekeeping foundations. It relates mainly to their links to so-called alternative media. The second will focus on Cointelpro-type "counterinsurgency" roles played by left gatekeeping foundations, both overseas and within the US.)
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? Why, is the American response apathy and passive acquiescence instead of militant protest, even rioting, in some countries? apathetic
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 faÃ§ade 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 rigid censorship of public information by the corporate controlled media. The second involves a large interlocking network of so-called "left gatekeeping foundations" that heavily dominate progressive organizing in the US.
Progressive media critics have written extensively about the corporate takeover of a mainstream media that strictly censors anti-corporate news and totally saturates American lives 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 outlets (The Nation, Mother Jones, Democracy Now!, and The Progressive, among others). Some analysts believe this relates to the heavy reliance of these outlets on these same left gatekeeping foundations for grant funding.
Does the CIA Fund 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 doggedly 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.
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 intervene in foreign elections; they orchestrate political instability 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, as in Vietnam, Central America and 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 careful study shows that the CIA operates almost 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 or 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), markets and cheap labor.
Allen Dulles - 1st CIA director by CIA
An Impressive Body of Research
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 happens to be 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.
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). In 1976, the investigation 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: