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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/22/11

The Cointelpro Role of Left Gatekeeping Foundations

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[this is the 2nd of two articles related to left gatekeeping foundatings - foundations that appear to promote progressive and liberal causes, but are funded by the CIA and/or right-leaning corporations]

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 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).

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/).

The Domestic Counterinsurgency Role of Left Gatekeepers.

Webster 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 formerly performed by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. 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.

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.

McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge Bundy
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I am a 63 year old American child and adolescent psychiatrist and political refugee in New Zealand. I have just published a young adult novel THE BATTLE FOR TOMORROW (which won a NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award) about a 16 year old girl who (more...)
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