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 on close examination the 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 teachers' unions. As Tarpley's research uncovered, the campaign to give LSC's the power to fire teachers and several hundred school principals was championed, not by grassroots minority 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, Chicago 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 education credentials whatsoever, appointed as CAC's first chairman. Obama's annual salary as board chairman was $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 pre-eminent education reformer. Many former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) members believe 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.
There is also considerable circumstantial evidence to support 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.
Who (Besides the CIA) Funds "Gatekeeping" Foundations?
In general the same Wall Street elites who fund the neoconservative foundations and think tanks also fund the liberal "gatekeeping" foundations and think tanks. The difference lies mainly in the public figureheads who represent them and slightly difference policies for achieving global domination.
In general liberal gatekeeping foundations seek to expand US corporate domination (at home ,and abroad), less by military and police violence and more by "softer" methods of social engineering, World Trade Organization mandates, and the use of development lending to impose brutal "structural readjustment" regimes.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's national security advisor, and Obama's long time mentor, is the individual most closely associated with this "social engineering" approach. Brzezinski openly advocates increasing the executive power of the US presidency for the sake of building the American empire. As he himself states in his 1998 The Grand Chessboard (p. 35), "Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."