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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/16/11

Does the CIA Fund Both the Right and the Left?

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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:

  • 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?" In addition, 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 inspired Adolph Hitler with his serialized publication The International Jew and later helped finance his rise to power.

The Ford Foundation under John McCloy

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 executive 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.

McCloy openly 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:

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