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How the CIA Operates Through Non-Governmental Agencies

April 2012

Source: Class Warfare Exists

Everyone knows that the CIA funds various covert operations throughout the world.  They do this through various 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 countries like Venezuela, Egypt, Pakistan and 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 a LOT of journalists, editors and influential people on the take (propaganda assets).  And they’re is always a concerted effort to punish those of us who share any semblance of truth.

The video below is an investigative report by the great Mike Wallace in 1967 exposing how the CIA used NGO’s over the 50?s and 60?s.  The investigation took place 45 years ago but that doesn’t make it any less relevant to today. The explanation of how the CIA operates begins at 5:23…

 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

A list of purported CIA front groups HERE.

Who can forget the news last year that various CIA linked NGO’s conducted a fake polio drive in Pakistan to gain intelligence information in the lead up to the assassination of Osama bin-Laden.  More HERE.

The CIA used to fund the NGO “National Student Association” for many years until a bombshell whistle blower account brought light to that particular organization.  More HERE.

The Telegraph explains how the U.S. planned the Egypt uprising since 2008 HERE.

A GREAT documentary of how the U.S. attempted a coup of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002 HERE.

A video from RT showing how America used NGOs to take down Libyan President Gaddafi HERE.

Here is just a small list of various NGOs that are either known or are broadly accepted as CIA front operations.  These organizations funnel money directly from their budget into various unknown and foundations, humanitarian groups, and private companies to further CIA priorities:

  • National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
  • National Endowment for Democracy
  • Freedom House
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • International Center for Journalists
  • Center for International Private Enterprise
  • USAID

National Endowment for Democracy

The NY Times writes about the National Endowment for Democracy:

The National Endowment for Democracy is a quasi-governmental foundation created by the Reagan Administration in 1983 to channel millions of Federal dollars into anti-Communist ”private diplomacy.” Its bylaws require ”openness” and ”public accountability” in its stewardship of millions of dollars a year in taxpayer funds, which are distributed to labor, business, education and other groups and organizations overseas to promote democratic ideas. Today, however, for the second time in its brief existence, the endowment finds itself in trouble with Congress. Some of its ”private diplomacy,” it turns out, has been more than private; it has been secret.

And the NED is still around; you can see their website HERE.  Reagan created it.  A former CIA case officer – Philip Agee – explains how the money moves from the NED through various conduits to influence international affairs – video HERE.

The NED website lists their mission as:

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.

The most recent budget for the National Endowment for Democracy (page 7):

Foundations, National Endowment for Democracy, and Independent Exchange Programs
FY11 Budget Request:                                       $ 134 million
FY10 Enacted:                                                      $ 162 million
Change from FY10 to FY11:                            $ 28 million decrease (-17.3%)
Asia Foundation reduced from $19 million to $15.7 million
East-West Center reduced from $23 million to $11.4 million
National Endowment for Democracy reduced from $118 million to $105 million

Michael Barker writes about NED – more HERE:

So although the CIA still carries out most of its activities under a veil of secrecy, a lot of their former work is now carried out overtly by the National Endowment for Democracy and an assortment of other related groups. This apparent openness has in turn ensured that there has been next to no critical reporting on the democracy-manipulating activities undertaken by government agencies and private philanthropists. However, as Agee noted in 2003, the CIA still remains a key player in the democracy-manipulating field, especially given the “CIA’s long experience and huge stable of agents and contacts in the civil societies of countries around the world.” Agee adds that: “By joining with the CIA, NED and [US]AID would come on board an on-going complex of operations whose funding they could take over while leaving the secret day-to-day direction on the ground to CIA officers.” Moreover, the CIA has “ample funds of its own to pass quietly when conditions required,” while the CIA officers themselves play a critical role in monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of democracy-manipulating activities.

Millennium Challenge Corporation

The most recent budget for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (page 5):

Millennium Challenge Corporation
FY11 Budget Request:                                      $ 1.28 billion
FY10 Enacted:                                                     $ 1.11 billion
Change from FY10 to FY11:                           $ 170 million increase (+15.3%)
Request assumes four possible compacts for Zambia, Indonesia, Malawi, and Cape Verde

A Wikileaks cable shows the involvement of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Uganda – a country we have been very active in as of late:

Uganda (ACCU), Jasper Tumuhimbise, went into hiding in late December after publishing a “Fame and Shame” booklet on government corruption. Funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) anti-corruption threshold program, ACCU’s booklet is a public perception survey in which Security Minister and National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Amama Mbabazi was perceived as Uganda’s most corrupt public official. Tumuhimbise went into hiding after he and ACCU staff received threatening telephone calls and a visit from security personnel seeking information on the ACCU’s international donors. On December 24, Tumuhimbise told PolOff that security forces followed him from the eastern town of Soroti to Kampala. He blames Mbabazi for the intimidation of ACCU staff.

Steve Dobransky writes an analysis about MCC’s official reason for being – MCC does exactly the same thing as USAID and utilizes information from Freedom House (a purported CIA front group):

The MCC was intended to make up for USAID’s apparent gap in political and economic “morality.”  The MCC was portrayed as America’s conscience and will to enact a new world order and not just talk about it.  The MCC conditioned all its aid on recipients’ nature and intentions in terms of democracy and free markets.  The MCC would use data from Freedom House, the World Bank, and other outside institutions.  Never before has a U.S. bureaucracy outsourced its primary judgment and decision-making authority to external organizations. The creation of the MCC also reflected a sizeable distaste for past U.S. policies and their apparent amorality.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

The Daily Beast writes about the recent crackdown of U.S. NGO’s in Egypt:

Just after noon on Dec. 29, Julie Hughes, the Egypt country director of the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), got a phone call saying police were raiding the group’s office in the south….

That day, 10 civil-society organizations operating in Egypt were raided, including U.S. pro-democracy groups International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House, which, like NDI, receive U.S. government funding. The Ministry of Justice launched an investigation into the groups and interrogated employees; Hughes’s own questioning lasted four and a half hours. At least seven Americans, including Hughes and IRI country director Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, have been banned from leaving Egypt.

With Egypt still wracked by pro-democracy protests a year after the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, the ruling Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) has taken to blaming “foreign hands” for the continued unrest. In their search for scapegoats, they’ve launched a full-scale investigation into civil-society groups. But storming NGOs, interrogating U.S. citizens, and banning them from leaving the country has strained U.S.-Egypt relations, and threatened the sacrosanct $1.3 billion in military aid from the U.S. that SCAF thrives on.

Freedom House

People’s World talks about Freedom House in Egypt – read HERE:

Among those facing trial in Egypt are representatives of Freedom House, a U.S. organization with a worldwide reach receiving 80 percent of its funding through the NED. Allegations have repeatedly surfaced of Freedom House ties to the CIA and involvement with clandestine anti-government activities in foreign countries. Between 1997 and 2009, Freedom House gathered in $10.6 million for democracy-promotion work in Cuba.

The Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN says Freedom House is an appendage of the CIA – read HERE:

With regard to Freedom House, a United States-based NGO enjoying consultative status, the Permanent Representative of Cuba went on to say that the Committee had been dealing with that “so-called NGO” for several sessions after having received complaints from many delegations.  He had submitted proof of the politically motivated, interventionist activities the NGO carried out against his Government.  The NGO’s links with terrorist groups in Cuba as well as the fact that it was an instrument of the special services of the United States were no secret.

He said he was fully aware of the close and proven links between Freedom House and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), under which the NGO carried out destabilization missions against legitimately-established governments.  Freedom House tried to sell the image of an NGO promoting democratic values while concealing the fact that it was a tool of subversion.  While he supported the positive and constructive contributions made by NGOs, he could not allow their image to be tarnished by a tiny minority of groups such as Freedom House.

As he had several questions to pose to the organization, he regretted that its representative was not present at the meeting, even though the NGO had been informed that its case would be discussed today.  That, he noted, represented a new lack of respect by the “so-called NGO” to the Committee.  He informed delegates that information on the links between the NGO and the CIA had been placed at the back of the conference room.

The Monthly Review Foundation says Freedom House is still filled with neo-cons and details their history with CIA involvement – more HERE:

Today, Freedom House continues to serve as both a think tank and a “civil society” funder as part of the State Department’s modern “democracy promotion” complex.  Frequently cited in the press and academic works, the reports and studies produced by Freedom House and its affiliates promote the neoconservative ideology of its trustees and government sponsors.  Although some names and affiliations have changed, the group is still dominated by neocons.  Brzezinski, Kirkpatrick, and Forbes are still on the trustees list, as well as Liasson, O’Rourke, and Noonan.

Trustee Ken Adelman is a contributor to the Project for a New American Century, along with former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who joined Freedom House in 2000.  Adelman was an assistant to Rumsfeld from 1975-1977, U.N. ambassador and arms control director under Reagan, and is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board.  He wrote an article for The Washington Postin 2002 titled, “Cakewalk in Iraq”28 in which he said: “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.”  Another trustee, Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington, is the U.S. author of the Trilateral Commission report, The Crisis of Democracy and The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order (1996).

The Santos Republic details the involvement of various NGO’s in Egypt – including Freedom House…more HERE.

In 2009 sixteen young Egyptian activists completed a two-month Freedom House ‘New Generation Fellowship’ in Washington. The activists received training in advocacy and met with U.S. government officials, members of Congress, media outlets and think tanks. As far back as 2008, members of the April 6th Movement attended the inaugural summit of the Association of Youth Movements (AYM) in New York, where they networked with other movements, attended workshops on the use of new and social media and learned about technical upgrades, such as consistently alternating computer simcards, which help to evade state internet surveillance. AYM is sponsored by Pepsi, YouTube and MTV and amongst the luminaries who participated in the 2008 Summit, which focused on training activists in the use of Facebook and Twitter, were James Glassman of the State Department, Sherif Mansour of Freedom House, National Security Advisor Shaarik Zafar and Larry Diamond of the NED.

International Center for Journalists

From their website:

ICFJ does more than train citizen and professional journalists. We launch news organizations, media associations, journalism schools and news products. We help journalists develop stories that lead to better public policies such as improved access to health care and cleaner environments. Our trainees expose corruption, increase transparency and hold officials accountable to their citizens.

The L.A. Times reports that the ICFJ receives money from the CIA arm NED – more HERE:

In Egypt, the four U.S. organizations under attack for fomenting unrest with illegal foreign funding were all connected to the endowment. Two — the GOP’s International Republican Institute and the Democratic Party’s National Democratic Institute — are among the groups that make up the endowment’s core constituents. The two other indicted groups, Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists, receive funds from the endowment.

The history of the National Endowment for Democracy would not be unknown to Fayza Aboul Naga, the minister of planning and international cooperation who has been leading the attack against the American organizations. Aboul Naga, a career diplomat, spent five years in New York in the 1990s as an advisor to a fellow Egyptian, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. It was not a good time and place for her to watch American democracy in action.

Center for International Private Enterprise

The Alliance for Global Justice is not a fan:

The boards of the NED and its core organizations are full of Spin Doctors from public relations firms, big advertisers, corporate headquarters; political analysts and advisors; and ex-CIA and military personnel. Vin Weber, NED Board Chair, works for a public relations firm that is part of the Omnicom Group, the world’s 3rd largest advertising agency. The Center for International Private Enterprise, an NED core institute, includes an executive from Google and a major contractor with Google. The International Republican Institute, another NED core institute, includes a former Senior Advisor to the CIA and various representatives from the military-industrial complex. These are just a few examples. Through well-placed contributions to political parties and other organizations, and through its web of corporate PR, military-industrial, and intelligence connections, the NED is able to coordinate campaigns of misinformation and bring together a diverse coalition in order to intervene in and control foreign elections. If that fails, the NED empowers that coalition to overthrow elected governments—like it did in Haiti and like it is trying to do in Venezuela.

CIPE is publicly known to have attempted and failed at a coup of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002 – more HERE:

One memorandum between the State Department and the NED reveals a supplemental $1,000,000 awarded in April 2002, right after the failed coup d’etat against President Chávez, that was slighted for NED’s Venezuelan benefactors. The primary grant recipients include the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Smaller grant recipients include Acción Campesina, Asociación Civil Asamblea de Educación, Fundación Momento de la Gente, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, Asociación Civil Liderazgo y Visión and Asociación Civil Consorcio Justicia, amongst others.

Other NED major award recipients, such as the Center for International Private Enterprise, which received over $200,000 last year for Venezuela activities and the International Republican Institute, which was awarded almost $300,000 for its work during the past two years in Venezuela, have poured their financial aid into support for Fedecámaras, the radicalized business association at the forefront of the opposition movement and into the development and strengthening of political parties to successfully oppose Chávez in future elections.

CIPE was involved in Egypt’s uprising as well – Jenny O’Connor explains HERE:

According to the NED’s 2009 Annual Report, $1,419,426 worth of grants was doled out to civil society organisations in Egypt that year. In 2010, the year preceding the January – February 2011 revolution, this funding massively increased to $2,497,457.11 Nearly half of this sum, $1,146,903, was allocated to the Center for International Private Enterprise for activates such as conducting workshops at governate level “to promote corporate citizenship” and engaging civil society organizations “to participate in the democratic process by strengthening their capacity to advo­cate for free market legislative reform on behalf of their members”. Freedom House also received $89,000 to “strengthen cooperation among a network of local activists and bloggers”.

Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center is run by the AFL-CIO which receives the majority of funding from the NED.  It could be very beneficial to America to destabilize countries with an appeal to workers for better pay, better working conditions and who better to create that internal resistance and resentment to a country’s leaders than those who run unions for a living.

You can read a history on the Solidarity Center HERE.  The American Prospect writes about the relationship between the AFL-CIO and the CIA as of 2001 HERE.  You can find their website HERE.

Michael Barker writes about the very current situation with the Solidarity Center’s involvement in Egypt:

There is no question that union organizing against oppressive laws is fantastic, but one can understand the Egyptian government’s repressive response in light of foreign-run NGOs — and especially those partnering with the US government — channeling considerable monies to Egyptian organizations that might not have the Egyptian government’s best interest in mind.

These corporate connections are intriguing, and just a little more research on Beinin’s part would have revealed that the chairman of Suez Cement Company is Omar Mohanna. This is worth acknowledging because Mohanna is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which indicates that the US government, if it chose to, could exert significant indirect pressure on reforming the ETUF through their good friend Mohanna. One would expect, however, that such pressure is already being applied given that Mohanna is involved with numerous groups that work closely with the NED’s “democracy-promoting” apparatus.

For example, Mohanna is the vice chairman of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (a group that has received aid from the NED in 1995 and 1997 via the Center for International Private Enterprise), and his work as a board member of the NED-connected New Civic Forum. (20)In fact, as mentioned earlier, the NED has already given the Solidarity Center grants to work with the ETUF, and Beinin himself even explains how the ETUF “received funding and technical assistance from the Solidarity Center to establish child labor programs in the rural governorates (provinces) of Sharqiyyya, Minufiyya, Buhayra, Fayyum, and Kafral-Shaykh, and in Alexandria.” Then, remaining on his theme of uncritical support for the US government, Beinin continues by adding that: “These programs were positively evaluated in reports prepared for USAID…” (21) Now there is a surprise!

Owning the Media

Carl Bernstein writes in “the CIA and the Media“:

“Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty?five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go?betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without?portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring?do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full?time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations…”

The Church Committee uncovered how the CIA funded journalists abroad …where those stories were picked up in the U.S. as truthful and factual.

The NY Times came across an old CIA cable during the time of the Warren commission.  The goal was to discredit critics of the Commission and to use “propaganda assets” i.e. journalists to do so.  You can find a source HERE.

To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein’s theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane’s book is much less convincing that Epstein’s and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)

The CIA went after Iraq war critic Professor Juan Cole during the Bush administration – story HERE.

Alternet explains what you can do:

Combined with current events factoids, Wikipedia and Sourcewatch, anyone with basic internet competence [ability to follow links and do key word searches such as ‘African Wildlife Foundation, MI6, CIA’ or ‘Fossey Foundation, arms trafficking’] and is able to make and organize notes while sifting out blatantly misinformed or amateur articles, can learn to overcome disinformation, do their own analysis, map the corporate activities, identify the rip-offs and peoples exploited by these schemes, all while identifying the actual players and motives behind the New York Times propaganda.

Apply the preceding method and the result is quite clear; the New York Times is but one arm of a mechanism to deceive on behalf of a corporate centered sociopath get-mega-rich[er]-quick scheme of the 1%, exploiting Americans belief in their institutions, any consequence to the USA and actual democracy be damned in process

Dr. Francisco Dominguez says U.S. based NGO Human Rights Watch published propaganda on Venezuela – more HERE.

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