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40 Years After CIA & ITT’s 1973 Coup In Chile: A Look At Democracy Now!’s ITT-Lannan Foundation Connection | Part 2

Where’s the Change?

Jan 7, 2014

by Bob Feldman

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Bernardine Dohrn addresses a radical gathering in 1969. Picture: David Fenton Source: Getty Images

On Sept. 28, 1973 the now-defunct Weather Underground anti-imperialist political group sent a letter and communique to various underground newspapers and aboveground U.S. media outlets. The letter from the Weather Underground stated the following:

“Dear Friends,

“We are sending this communique to newspapers and radio stations around the country. Our purpose is to help explain the role of ITT and the U.S. in the overthrow of President Salvador Allende and the popular government of Chile…This communique accompanies the bombing of the Headquarters for Latin America of ITT in New York City, which was carried out today…”

And the Weather Underground’s September 28, 1973 communique included the following text:

“Tonight we attacked the ITT headquarters for America in New York City, in support of the people in Chile, and to add our voice to the international expression of outrage and anger at the involvement of ITT and the U.S. government in the overthrow of socialist Chile…

“Without the machinations of ITT and the U.S. government these events would not have happened. In spite of their insolent denials they stand indicted by their own words and deeds. The blood of thousands of people is on their hands.

“Indictment:

“1. ITT attempted to subvert Chile’s elections and government. The secret ITT memos exposed in March 1972 explicitly state that in 1970 ITT financed Allende’s opponent and cooperated with the CIA to try to create economic chaos in Chile and instigate a military coup. ITT offered the White House a million dollars to finance anti-Allende activities. In 1971 ITT sent to General Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s deputy, an 18-point program which urged that `everything should be done quietly but effectively to see that Allende does not get through the crucial next six months.’

“2. ITT and the two other major investors in Chile, Anacondaa nd Kennecott copper companies, robbed the people of their subsistence. Chile is a country with a great wealth of natural resources but her people are very poor. Her wealth has been extracted by these giant multinational corporations in the form of exorbitant profits. ITT has assets there amounting to more than $200 million…

“ITT is a symbol to the whole world of U.S. greed and ruthlessness the way Dow Chemical Corporation, the manufacturers of napalm, came to symbolize the Vietnam war makers. ITT can be understood by millions of people as an international enemy. They have offices in every major U.S. city and in seventy countries. They recruit on college campuses. They own the telephone company in Puerto Rico. They created the electronic battlefield in Vietnam. They made the avionics system that guided Nixon’s bombs to the hospitals of Hanoi. They should be attacked throughout this country. This is one way to show support for Chile…”

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Yet, ironically, some of the blood money that the now-deceased J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. collected from owning stock in ITT and sitting on the ITT board of directors–before and after the CIA and ITT-promoted military coup in Chile overthrew the democratically-elected Allende regime in Chile in September 1973–was used to set up the Lannan family’s Lannan Foundation that provides hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in operating funds for alternative media/left gatekeeper groups like “Democracy Now!”, “The Nation”, and “Mother Jones” magazine. Between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, for example, the producers of “Democracy Now!” accepted $1.4 million in “charitable grant”/blood money from the foundation that former ITT Director and ITT stockholder Lannan established: $375,000 in 2008; $350,000 in 2009; $375,000 in 2010; and $300,000 in 2011.

As the Lannan Foundation’s website notes, “in 1960 J. Patrick Lannan, Sr., entrepreneur and financier, established Lannan Foundation” and “died in 1983 at the age of 78; and “in 1986 Lannan Foundation received a substantial endowment from his estate.” And as the “New York Times” observed in an obituary of J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. which it published in its September 27, 1983 issue, “Mr. Lannan was a director of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation [ITT] for 36 years” and “retired as director emeritus” of ITT in May of 1983.