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Reagan Documents Shed Light on U.S. ‘Meddling’

Consortium News

September 13, 2017

By Robert Parry

 

President George W Bush visits CIA Headquarters, March 20, 2001.

 

Special Report: “Secret” documents from the Reagan administration show how the U.S. embedded “political action,” i.e., the manipulation of foreign governments, in ostensibly well-meaning organizations, reports Robert Parry.

“Secret” documents, recently declassified by the Reagan presidential library, reveal senior White House officials reengaging a former CIA “proprietary,” The Asia Foundation, in “political action,” an intelligence term of art for influencing the actions of foreign governments.

Partially obscured by President Reagan, Walter Raymond Jr. was the CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist who oversaw “political action” and “psychological operations” projects at the National Security Council in the 1980s. Raymond is seated next to National Security Adviser John Poindexter. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

The documents from 1982 came at a turning-point moment when the Reagan administration was revamping how the U.S. government endeavored to manipulate the internal affairs of governments around the world in the wake of scandals in the 1960s and 1970s involving the Central Intelligence Agency’s global covert operations.

Instead of continuing to rely heavily on the CIA, President Reagan and his national security team began offloading many of those “political action” responsibilities to “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) that operated in a more overt fashion and received funding from other U.S. government agencies.

But secrecy was still required for the involvement of these NGOs in the U.S. government’s strategies to bend the political will of targeted countries. If the “political action” of these NGOs were known, many countries would object to their presence; thus, the “secret” classification of the 1982 White House memos that I recently obtained via a “mandatory declassification review” from the archivists at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

In intelligence circles, “political action” refers to a wide range of activities to influence the policies and behaviors of foreign nations, from slanting their media coverage, to organizing and training opposition activists, even to setting the stage for “regime change.”

The newly declassified memos from the latter half of 1982 marked an ad hoc period of transition between the CIA scandals, which peaked in the 1970s, and the creation of more permanent institutions to carry out these semi-secretive functions, particularly the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was created in 1983.

Much of this effort was overseen by a senior CIA official, Walter Raymond Jr., who was moved to Reagan’s National Security Council’s staff where he managed a number of interagency task forces focused on “public diplomacy,” “psychological operations,” and “political action.”

Raymond, who had held top jobs in the CIA’s covert operations shop specializing in propaganda and disinformation, worked from the shadows inside Reagan’s White House, too. Raymond was rarely photographed although his portfolio of responsibilities was expansive. He brought into his orbit emerging “stars,” including Lt. Col. Oliver North (a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal), State Department propagandist (and now a leading neocon) Robert Kagan, and NED President Carl Gershman (who still heads NED with its $100 million budget).

Despite his camera avoidance, Raymond appears to have grasped his true importance. In his NSC files, I found a doodle of an organizational chart that had Raymond at the top holding what looks like the crossed handles used by puppeteers to control the puppets below them. The drawing fit the reality of Raymond as the behind-the-curtains operative who controlled various high-powered inter-agency task forces.

Earlier declassified documents revealed that Raymond also was the conduit between CIA Director William J. Casey and these so-called “pro-democracy” programs that used sophisticated propaganda strategies to influence not only the thinking of foreign populations but the American people, too.

This history is relevant again now amid the hysteria over alleged Russian “meddling” in last year’s U.S. presidential elections. If those allegations are true – and the U.S. government has still not presented any real proof  – the Russian motive would have been, in part, payback for Washington’s long history of playing games with the internal politics of Russia and other countries all across the planet.

A Fight for Money

The newly released memos describe bureaucratic discussions about funding levels for The Asia Foundation (TAF), with the only sensitive topic, to justify the “secret” stamp, being the reference to the U.S. government’s intent to exploit TAF’s programs for “political action” operations inside Asian countries.

Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush with CIA Director William Casey at the White House on Feb. 11, 1981. (Photo credit: Reagan Library)

Indeed, the opportunity for “political action” under TAF’s cover appeared to be the reason why Reagan’s budget cutters relented and agreed to restore funding to the foundation.

William Schneider Jr. of the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a Sept. 2, 1982 memo that the Budget Review Board (BRB) had axed TAF funding earlier in the year.

“When the BRB last considered this issue on March 29, 1982, it decided not to include funding in the budget for a U.S. Government grant to TAF. The Board’s decision was based on the judgement that given the limited resources available for international affairs programs, funding for the Foundation could not be justified. During that March 29 meeting, the State Department was given the opportunity to fund TAF within its existing budget, but would not agree to do so.”

However, as Schneider noted in the memo to Deputy National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, “I now understand that a proposal to continue U.S. funding for the Asia Foundation is included in the ‘political action’ initiatives being developed by the State Department and several other agencies.

“We will, of course, work with you to reconsider the relative priority of support for the Foundation as part of these initiatives keeping in mind, however, the need for identifying budget offsets.”

A prime mover behind this change of heart appeared to be Walter Raymond, who surely knew TAF’s earlier status as a CIA “proprietary.” In 1966, Ramparts magazine exposed that relationship and led the Johnson administration to terminate the CIA’s money.

According to an April 12, 1967 memo from the State Department’s historical archives, CIA Director Richard Helms, responding to a White House recommendation, “ordered that covert funding of The Asia Foundation (TAF) shall be terminated at the earliest practicable opportunity.”

In coordination with the CIA’s “disassociation,” TAF’s board released what the memo described as “a carefully limited statement of admission of past CIA support. In so doing the Trustees sought to delimit the effects of an anticipated exposure of Agency support by the American press and, if their statement or some future expose does not seriously impair TAF’s acceptability in Asia, to continue operating in Asia with overt private and official support.”

The CIA memo envisioned future funding from “overt U.S. Government grants” and requested guidance from the White House’s covert action oversight panel, the 303 Committee, for designation of someone “to whom TAF management should look for future guidance and direction with respect to United States Government interests.”

In 1982, with TAF’s funding again in jeopardy, the CIA’s Walter Raymond rallied to its defense from his NSC post. In an undated memo to McFarlane, Raymond recalled that “the Department of State underscored that TAF had made significant contributions to U.S. foreign policies through fostering democratic institutions and, as a private organization, had accomplished things which a government organization cannot do.” [Emphasis in original]

Raymond’s bureaucratic intervention worked. By late 1982, the Reagan administration had arranged for TAF’s fiscal 1984 funding to go through the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) budget, which was being used to finance a range of President Reagan’s “democracy initiatives.” Raymond spelled out the arrangements in a Dec. 15, 1982 memo to National Security Advisor William Clark.

“The issue has been somewhat beclouded in the working levels at State since we have opted to fund all FY 84 democracy initiatives via the USIA budgetary submission,” Raymond wrote. “At the same time, it is essential State maintain its operational and management role with TAF.”

Over the ensuing three and half decades, TAF has continued to be  subsidized by U.S. and allied governments. According to its annual report for the year ending Sept. 30, 2016, TAF said it “is funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress, competitively bid awards from governmental and multilateral development agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and by private foundations and corporations,” a sum totaling $94.5 million.

TAF, which operates in 18 Asian countries, describes its purpose as “improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia.” TAF’s press office had no immediate comment regarding the newly released Reagan-era documents.

Far From Alone

But TAF was far from alone as a private organization that functioned with U.S. government money and collaborated with U.S. officials in achieving Washington’s foreign policy goals.

Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy.

For instance, other documents from the Reagan library revealed that Freedom House, a prominent human rights organization, sought advice and direction from Casey and Raymond while advertising the group’s need for financial help.

In an Aug. 9, 1982 letter to Raymond, Freedom House executive director Leonard R. Sussman wrote that “Leo Cherne [another senior Freedom House official] has asked me to send these copies of Freedom Appeals. He has probably told you we have had to cut back this project to meet financial realities. We would, of course, want to expand the project once again when, as and if the funds become available.”

According to the documents, Freedom House remained near the top of Casey’s and Raymond’s thinking when it came to the most effective ways to deliver the CIA’s hardline foreign policy message to the American people and to the international community.

On Nov. 4, 1982, Raymond wrote to NSC Advisor Clark about the “Democracy Initiative and Information Programs,” stating that “Bill Casey asked me to pass on the following thought concerning your meeting with [right-wing billionaire] Dick Scaife, Dave Abshire [then a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board], and Co.

“Casey had lunch with them today and discussed the need to get moving in the general area of supporting our friends around the world. By this definition he is including both ‘building democracy’ and helping invigorate international media programs. The DCI [Casey] is also concerned about strengthening public information organizations in the United States such as Freedom House.

“A critical piece of the puzzle is a serious effort to raise private funds to generate momentum. Casey’s talk with Scaife and Co. suggests they would be very willing to cooperate. Suggest that you note White House interest in private support for the Democracy initiative.”

In a Jan. 25, 1983 memo, Raymond wrote, “We will move out immediately in our parallel effort to generate private support” for “public diplomacy” operations. Then, on May 20, 1983, Raymond recounted in another memo that $400,000 had been raised from private donors brought to the White House Situation Room by USIA Director Charles Wick. According to that memo, the money was divided among several organizations, including Freedom House and Accuracy in Media, a right-wing media attack group.

In an Aug. 9, 1983 memo, Raymond outlined plans to arrange private backing for that effort. He said USIA Director Wick “via [Australian publishing magnate Rupert] Murdock [sic], may be able to draw down added funds” to support pro-Reagan initiatives. Raymond recommended “funding via Freedom House or some other structure that has credibility in the political center.”

[For more on the Murdoch connection, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Rupert Murdoch: Propaganda Recruit.”]

Questions of Legality

Raymond remained a CIA officer until April 1983 when he resigned so in his words “there would be no question whatsoever of any contamination of this” propaganda operation to woo the American people into supporting Reagan’s policies.

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency’s headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

Raymond fretted, too, about the legality of Casey’s role in the effort to influence U.S. public opinion because of the legal prohibition against the CIA influencing U.S. policies and politics. Raymond confided in one memo that it was important “to get [Casey] out of the loop,” but Casey never backed off and Raymond continued to send progress reports to his old boss well into 1986.

It was “the kind of thing which [Casey] had a broad catholic interest in,” Raymond said during his Iran-Contra deposition in 1987. He then offered the excuse that Casey undertook this apparently illegal interference in domestic affairs “not so much in his CIA hat, but in his adviser to the president hat.”

In 1983, Casey and Raymond focused on creating a permanent funding mechanism to support private organizations that would engage in propaganda and political action that the CIA had historically organized and paid for covertly. The idea emerged for a congressionally funded entity that would be a conduit for this money.

But Casey recognized the need to hide the strings being pulled by the CIA. In one undated letter to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese III, Casey urged creation of a “National Endowment,” but added: “Obviously we here [at CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate.”

document in Raymond’s files offered examples of what would be funded, including “Grenada — 50 K — To the only organized opposition to the Marxist government of Maurice Bishop (The Seaman and Waterfront Workers Union). A supplemental 50 K to support free TV activity outside Grenada” and “Nicaragua — $750 K to support an array of independent trade union activity, agricultural cooperatives.”

The National Endowment for Democracy took shape in late 1983 as Congress decided to also set aside pots of money — within NED — for the Republican and Democratic parties and for organized labor, creating enough bipartisan largesse that passage was assured.

But some in Congress thought it was important to wall the NED off from any association with the CIA, so a provision was included to bar the participation of any current or former CIA official, according to one congressional aide who helped write the legislation.

This aide told me that one night late in the 1983 session, as the bill was about to go to the House floor, the CIA’s congressional liaison came pounding at the door to the office of Rep. Dante Fascell, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a chief sponsor of the bill.

The frantic CIA official conveyed a single message from CIA Director Casey: the language barring the participation of CIA personnel must be struck from the bill, the aide recalled, noting that Fascell consented to the demand, not fully recognizing its significance.

The aide said Fascell also consented to the Reagan administration’s choice of Carl Gershman to head the National Endowment for Democracy, again not recognizing how this decision would affect the future of the new entity and American foreign policy.

Gershman, who had followed the classic neoconservative path from youthful socialism to fierce anticommunism, became NED’s first (and, to this day, only) president. Though NED is technically independent of U.S. foreign policy, Gershman in the early years coordinated decisions on grants with Raymond at the NSC.

For instance, on Jan. 2, 1985, Raymond wrote to two NSC Asian experts that “Carl Gershman has called concerning a possible grant to the Chinese Alliance for Democracy (CAD). I am concerned about the political dimension to this request. We should not find ourselves in a position where we have to respond to pressure, but this request poses a real problem to Carl.”

Besides clearing aside political obstacles for Gershman, Raymond also urged NED to give money to Freedom House in a June 21, 1985 letter obtained by Professor John Nichols of Pennsylvania State University.

What the documents at the Reagan library make clear is that Raymond and Casey stayed active shaping the decisions of the new funding mechanism throughout its early years. (Casey died in 1987; Raymond died in 2003.)

Lots of Money

Since its founding, NED has ladled out hundreds of millions of dollars to NGOs all over the world, focusing on training activists, building media outlets, and supporting civic organizations. In some geopolitical hotspots, NED may have scores of projects running at once, such as in Ukraine before the 2014 coup that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych and touched off the New Cold War with Russia. Via such methods, NED helped achieve the “political action” envisioned by Casey and Raymond.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

From the start, NED also became a major benefactor for Freedom House, beginning with a $200,000 grant in 1984 to build “a network of democratic opinion-makers.” In NED’s first four years, from 1984 and 1988, it lavished $2.6 million on Freedom House, accounting for more than one-third of its total income, according to a study by the liberal Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which was entitled “Freedom House: Portrait of a Pass-Through.”

Over the ensuing decades, Freedom House has become almost an NED subsidiary, often joining NED in holding policy conferences and issuing position papers, both organizations pushing primarily a neoconservative agenda, challenging countries deemed insufficiently “free,” including Syria, Ukraine (before the 2014 coup) and Russia.

NED and Freedom House often work as a kind of tag-team with NED financing NGOs inside targeted countries and Freedom House berating those governments if they try to crack down on U.S.-funded NGOs.

For instance, on Nov. 16, 2012, NED and Freedom House joined together to denounce a law passed by the Russian parliament requiring Russian recipients of foreign political money to register with the government. Or, as NED and Freedom House framed the issue: the Russian Duma sought to “restrict human rights and the activities of civil society organizations and their ability to receive support from abroad. Changes to Russia’s NGO legislation will soon require civil society organizations receiving foreign funds to choose between registering as ‘foreign agents’ or facing significant financial penalties and potential criminal charges.”

Of course, the United States has a nearly identical Foreign Agent Registration Act that likewise requires entities that receive foreign funding and seek to influence U.S. government policy to register with the Justice Department or face possible fines or imprisonment.

But the Russian law would impede NED’s efforts to destabilize the Russian government through funding of political activists, journalists and civic organizations, so it was denounced as an infringement of human rights and helped justify Freedom House’s rating of Russia as “not free.”

The Russian government’s concerns were not entirely paranoid. On Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman, in effect, charted the course for the crisis in Ukraine and the greater neocon goal of regime change in Russia. In a Washington Post op-ed, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and explained how pulling it into the Western camp could contribute to the ultimate defeat of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

The long history of the U.S. government interfering covertly or semi-covertly in the politics of countries all over the world is the ironic backdrop to the current frenzy over Russia-gate and Russia’s alleged dissemination of emails that undermined Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The allegations are denied by both Putin and WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange who published the Democratic emails – and the U.S. government has presented no solid evidence to support the accusations of “Russian meddling” – but if the charges are true, they could be seen as a case of turnabout as fair play.

Except in this case, U.S. officials, who have meddled ceaselessly with their “political action” operations in countries all over the world, don’t like even the chance that they could get a taste of their own medicine.

 

[Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).]

 

Let It Shine

Culture of Imbeciles

February 2, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

shine a light

Oskar Schlemmer | Der Taucher – costume from Das Triadische Ballett (The Triadic Ballet), 1922

 

Authentic human rights networks ought to be calling for the arrest and prosecution by the International Criminal Court of the leaders and agents of Avaaz, Purpose, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (essentially subsidiaries of convicted inside-trader George Soros’ Open Society Institute) for crimes against humanity. While these shady organizations (in tandem with the U.S. Government-funded National Endowment for Democracy and USAID) continue undermining international law at the behest of Wall Street, NATO and the Pentagon, we can at least shine a light on these voices of death. Sing along with us:

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

avaazkilllhashtag

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

Imperial Civil Society: False Fronts for Wall Street

Counterpunch

Weekend Edition September 5-7, 2014

by Jay Taber

ci-poster-for-web-sm

 

The power of moral sanction is something Wall Street takes very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that over the last two decades, hostile takeovers of authentic civil society organizations, known for exercising moral sanction (i.e., Sierra Club and Pacifica Radio Network), have evolved into full-fledged displacement by corporate false fronts (i.e., Avaaz and 350).

While the membership-based Sierra Club and Pacifica Radio Network fought back and reclaimed their boards of directors, false fronts and compromised NGOs (i.e. Amnesty International USA) have become what is known as imperial civil society. Used to justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US, they reflect a perversion of moral sanction.

As Maximilian Forte writes in Civil Society, NGOs, and Saving the Needy, the main purpose of the burgeoning civil society fad – that comprises the international bureaucracy of neoliberalism – is to legitimate anti-democratic politics. In order to take over basic functions and powers of the state, this bureaucracy – engaged in development, governance and aid – justifies itself by creating a “need,” thereby cornering the market on “humanity.”

With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime.

As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony.

Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states.

With help from Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, imperial civil society is admittedly a formidable foe, but not an invulnerable one. Built on a foundation of fraud, the power of moral sanction they have hijacked can effectively be turned against them. While false fronts are able to dominate social media, they do not own our minds; they are merely social engineers operating under false pretenses that we can reject at will.

 
[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, and a featured columnist at IC Magazine. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

 

US, EU Meddling in Ukraine Battle

RT

January 30, 2014

William Engdahl

Kiev, January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

Kiev, January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

In the heat of recent exchanges and deaths of protesters in Ukraine, many have lost sight of the insidious role key players in Washington and certain EU countries are playing.

Their agenda seems to be to force an immediate end to the elected Yanukovich government in Kiev and lock Ukraine into the EU and, ultimately, NATO. Washington’s agenda has little to do with‘democracy and freedom’, and a lot to do with destabilizing Putin’s Russia.

On Sunday, January 19, the eight-week-long series of protests and demonstrations against the government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev escalated to a new level of violence. Bands of right-wing militants called Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), attacked Ukrainian police guarding government buildings and attempting to contain the protesters.

Enter the Neo-Nazis

Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at riot police from the top of the Dynamo Kiev football stadium in central Kiev beginning January 19. Police responded by using stun grenades and tear gas against the mobs. Vehicles were torched by the hooligans from the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor. More than 60 police were hospitalized from barrages of rocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

The core of Pravy sektor is made of the activists of radical groups, including ‘Trizub’, ‘Patriot of Ukraine’,as well as UNA-UNSO and the ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom) ultra-right party, which won nearly 10 percent of votes at the last parliamentary election in Ukraine. They are ‘pro-EU’.

The far-right violent radicals told Radio Free Europe, a US Government media agency tied to the CIA and State Department, that they were preparing full bloody guerrilla war against the government. Andrey Tarasenko, Pravy Sektor’s coordinator warned, “If they attack and try to carry out a bloody crackdown, I think there will be a massacre. Guerrilla warfare will begin in Ukraine.”

FLASHBACK | The Velvet Slipper And The Military-Peace Nonprofit Complex

The following excerpts are from the article The Velvet Slipper And The Military-Peace Nonprofit Complex written by Michael Barker. The article in its entirety can be read at Swans Commentary where it was published February 18, 2011.

The political clout of the military-peace nonprofit complex is growing apace, and too many people at home and abroad are in danger of being lulled and then crushed by an oligarchy capable of wearing both the velvet slipper and the iron heel. Such anti-democratic developments hold no surprises to opponents of the oligarchy, but apologists for the velvet slipper who seek to teach anti-democratic intelligence agencies about the power of nonviolent activism must be identified and excluded from further involvement with progressive social movements. A good example that springs to mind is Lester Kurtz, who — in addition to residing on the advisory board of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict — recently responded to an article that challenged the fact that he had given a lecture to the CIA, by “arguing”: “I spoke as an independent academic and in no way as a representative of the ICNC when my government asked me to dialogue with members of its intelligence community. I feel that it is my duty as a citizen to educate others…” and “was glad to give my modest input…” (17)

In his timeless novel The Iron Heel (1907), Jack London was all too aware of John D. Rockefeller and his plutocratic ilk’s desire to crush humanity “under the iron heel of a despotism as relentless and terrible as any despotism that has blackened the pages of the history of man.” Yet London recognized the other dangers that capital posed to an increasingly powerful revolutionary movement, as he warned how the oligarchy complemented their violence against organized labor by providing selective subsidies to conservative unions much as the Rockefeller Foundation went on to do in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. (1) But in 1907, when London first published his book, the art of capitalist philanthropy was not fine-tuned, and so if he were writing today, London might well have authored a second book titled The Velvet Slipper.

Desperate for Destabilization in Venezuela, US Funded OTPOR Rears It’s Ugly Head

“We had a lot of financial help from Western nongovernmental organizations. And also some Western governmental organizations.” Slobodan Homen, Otpor, 2000

 

Otpor logo

 

“Just how much money backed this objective is not clear. The United States Agency for International Development says that $25 million was appropriated just this year. Several hundred thousand dollars were given directly to Otpor for “demonstration-support material, like T-shirts and stickers,” says Donald L. Pressley, the assistant administrator. Otpor leaders intimate they also received a lot of covert aid — a subject on which there is no comment in Washington.” Who Really Brought Down Milosevic? New York Times, Nov 26, 2000

 

Otpor, as reported by the New York Times, was a well-oiled movement backed by several million dollars from the United States via the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Otpor (now calling itself CANVAS) has since been most instrumental in the recruiting and training behind the imperialist destabilization campaigns crushing sovereign states, and the far from spontaneous “Arab Springs”.

“The tranquility prevailing in Tachira, Venezuela, was interrupted a few days ago by violent right wing youth groups that are sponsored by foreign NGOs. The so-called “white hands” that do not recognize the government and the vice president, Nicolas Maduro, as well as the decision by the Supreme Court of Justice allowing President Chavez to take oath before this judicial institution. COPEI Party, the Popular Will Party and the first justice party are encouraging sabotage and terrorism in the state of Tachira. They are wishing for a person to die or be injured, but we will not allow it. … [Source: TelesSUR]

In the following video published January 14, 2013, at exactly 1:07 in, the Otpor symbol on the t-shirt of the “protestor” is clearly identifiable.

Democracy Promotion: America’s New Regime Change Formula


 

“On a trip to South Africa to train Zimbabweans in 2003, Djinovic and Popovic decided to establish CANVAS.  … Djinovic had founded Serbia’s first wireless Internet service provider in 2000 and was well on his way to becoming a mogul. Today he is head of Serbia’s largest private internet and phone company and funds about half of CANVAS’s operating expenses and the costs for half the training workshops out of his own pocket. (CANVAS has four and a half staff employees. The trainers are veterans of successful democracy movements in five countries and are paid as contractors. CANVAS participates in some workshops financed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Development Program, an international NGO called Humanity in Action, and Freedom House, an American group which gets its money from the U.S. government. But CANVAS prefers to give Washington a wide berth, in part due to Otpor’s experience. Like the entire opposition to Milosevic, Otpor took money from the U.S. government, and lied about it. When the real story came out after Milosevic fell, many Otpor members quit, feeling betrayed.” – REVOLUTION U – FOREIGN POLICY FEATURE, FEB 16, 2011, BY TINA ROSENBERG

 

Otpor has also surfaced in North America’s Occupy Wall Street and 350.org

Image on far left: In 1998 the Otpor logo appears in Belgrade. Image on left: Otpor logo as found on the New York Occupy Wall Street Official website (2012),  featured above an Avaaz destabilization campaign against Syria. (screenshot below). Read more about Avaaz here.

 

350.org presents Otpor

350.org | Sept 22 and Sept 29 2011, Creative Activism Thursdays Srdja Popovic and Slobo Djinovic Lecture

“Due to the widespread interest in the Creative Activism Lecture Series this fall, and in order to better accommodate all guests, RSVP is required; please show up early. If you don’t RSVP, you can still show up and we’ll let you in 5 minutes before the lecture starts if there’s room. Note: immediately after the lecture, the audience will head down to #occupywallstreet!”

US Attempting Regime Change in Malaysia: Fact or fiction?

 

by Nile Bowie

Mathaba

January 8, 2013

As the South-East Asian nation of Malaysia prepares for general elections, distrust of the political opposition and accusations of foreign interference have been major talking points in the political frequencies emanating from Kuala Lumpur.

The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) leads the country’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and has maintained power since Malaysian independence in 1957.

Occupy Wall Street and “The American Autumn”: Is It a “Colored Revolution”?

Part I

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, October 13, 2011

There is a grassroots protest movement unfolding across America, which includes people from all walks of life, from all age groups, conscious of the need for social change and committed to reversing the tide.

The grassroots of this movement constitutes a response to the "Wall Street agenda" of financial fraud and manipulation which has served to trigger unemployment and poverty across the land.

Does this movement constitute in its present form an instrument of meaningful reform and social change in America?

What is the organizational structure of the movement? Who are its main architects?

Has the movement or segments within this movement been co-opted?

This is an important question, which must be addressed by those who are part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as those who, across America, support real democracy.

Introduction

Historically, progressive social movements have been infiltrated, their leaders co-opted and manipulated, through the corporate funding of non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties. The ultimate purpose of "funding dissent" is to prevent the protest movement from challenging the legitimacy of the economic elites:

"In a bitter irony, part of the fraudulent financial gains on Wall Street in recent years have been recycled to the elites’ tax exempt foundations and charities. These windfall financial gains have not only been used to buy out politicians, they have also been channelled to NGOs, research institutes, community centres, church groups, environmentalists, alternative media, human rights groups, etc.

The inner objective is to "manufacture dissent" and establish the boundaries of a "politically correct" opposition. In turn, many NGOs are infiltrated by informants often acting on behalf of western intelligence agencies. Moreover, an increasingly large segment of the progressive alternative news media on the internet has become dependent on funding from corporate foundations and charities.

The objective of the corporate elites has been to fragment the people’s movement into a vast "do it yourself" mosaic." (See Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent: the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 20, 2010)

"Manufacturing Dissent"

At the same time, "manufactured dissent" is intent upon promoting political and social divisions (e.g. within and between political parties and social movements). In turn, it encourages the creation of factions within each and every organization.

With regard to the anti-globalization movement, this process of division and fragmentation dates back to the early days of the World Social Forum. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent: The Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 20, 2010)

Most of the progressive organizations of the post-World War II period, including the European "Left" have, in the course of the last thirty years, been transformed and remoulded. The "Free Market" system (Neoliberalism) is the consensus of the "Left". This applies, among others, to the Socialist Party in France, the Labour Party in Britain, the Social Democrats in Germany, not to mention the Green Party in France and Germany.

In the US, bi-partisanship is not the result of the interplay of Congressional party politics. A handful of powerful corporate lobby groups control both the Republicans and the Democrats. The "bi-partisan consensus" is established by the elites who operate behind the scenes. It is enforced by the main corporate lobby groups, which exert a stranglehold over both major political parties.

In turn, the leaders of the AFL-CIO have also been co-opted by the corporate establishment against the grassroots of the US labor movement.

The leaders of organized labor attend the annual meetings of the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF). They collaborate with the Business Roundtable. But at the same time, the grassroots of the US labor movement has sought to to carry out organizational changes which contribute to democratizing the leadership of individual trade unions.

The elites will promote a "ritual of dissent" with a high media profile, with the support of network TV, the corporate news as well as the internet.

The economic elites — which control major foundations — also oversee the funding of numerous civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs (including those involved in the Occupy Wall Street Movement) rely heavily on funding from private foundations including the Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Tides foundations, among others.

Historically, the anti-globalization movement which emerged in the 1990s has opposed Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller, Ford et al have, over the years, generously funded progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.

"Colored Revolutions"

In the course of the last decade, "colored revolutions" have emerged in several countries. The "colored revolutions" are US intelligence ops which consist in covertly supporting protest movements with a view to triggering "regime change" under the banner of a pro-democracy movement.

"Colored revolutions" are supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House, among others. The objective of a "colored revolution" is to foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple the existing government. The ultimate foreign policy goal is to instate a compliant pro-US government (or "puppet regime").

"The Arab Spring"

In Egypt’s "Arab Spring", the main civil society organizations including Kifaya (Enough) and The April 6 Youth Movement were not only supported by US based foundations, they also had the endorsement of the US State Department. (For details see Michel Chossudovsky, The Protest Movement in Egypt: "Dictators" do not Dictate, They Obey Orders, Global Research, January 29, 2011)

Egyptian dissidents, Fellows of Freedom House in Washington DC (2008)

"In a bitter irony, Washington supported the Mubarak dictatorship, including its atrocities, while also backing and financing its detractors,… Under the auspices of Freedom House, Egyptian dissidents and opponents of Hosni Mubarak (see above) were received in May 2008 by Condoleezza Rice … and White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley." (See Michel Chossudovsky, The Protest Movement in Egypt: "Dictators" do not Dictate, They Obey Orders, Global Research, January 29, 2011)

The following year (May 2009), a delegation of Egyptian dissidents was received by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (See below)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with "Egyptian activists promoting freedom and democracy", prior to meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009.
Compare the two pictures. Part of the 2008 delegation meeting Condoleeza Rice is part of the 2009 delegation meeting Hillary Clinton

OTPOR and the Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS)

Dissidents of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, which, for several years, was in permanent liaison with the US Embassy in Cairo, were trained by Serbia’s Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a consulting and training firm specializing in "Revolution" supported by FH and the NED.

CANVAS was established in 2003 by OTPOR, a CIA supported Serbian organization which played a central role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic in the wake of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

Barely two months after the end of the 1999 bombings of Yugoslavia, OTPOR was spearheaded into playing a central role in the installation of a US-NATO sponsored "caretaker" government in Serbia. These developments also paved the way towards the secession of Montenegro from Yugoslavia, the establishment of the US Bondsteel military base and the eventual formation a Mafia State in Kosovo.

In August 1999, the CIA is reported to have set up a training program for OTPOR in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia:

"In the summer of 1999, the head of the CIA, George Tenet, set up shop in Sofia, Bulgaria to “educate” the Serb opposition. Last August. 28 [2000], the BBC confirmed that a special 10-day class had been given to the Otpor militants, also in Sofia.

The CIA program is a program in successive phases. Early on, they flatter the Serbs’ patriotism and spirit of independence, acting as if they respect these qualities. But after having sown confusion and broken the unity of the country, the CIA and NATO would go much further."

(Gerard Mugemangano and Michel Collon, "To be partly controlled by the CIA ? That doesn’t bother me much.", Interview with two activists of the Otpor student movement, International Action Center (IAC), To be partly controlled by the CIA ? October 6, 2000. See also "CIA is tutoring Serbian group, Otpor", The Monitor, Sofia, translated by Blagovesta Doncheva, Emperors Clothes, September 8, 2000 )

"The Revolution Business"

OTPOR’s Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) describes itself as "an International network of trainers and consultants" involved in the "Revolution Business". Funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), it constitutes a consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries.

OTPOR played a key role in Egypt.

Egypt Tahir Square: What appeared to be a spontaneous democratization process was a carefully planned intelligence operation. View video below.


Egypt. The Logo of the April 6 Movement

Egypt’s “April 6 Youth Movement,” the same fist logo, Source Infowars

Both the April 6 Movement and Kifaya (Enough!) received prior training from CANVAS in Belgrade "in the strategies of non-violent revolution". "According to Stratfor, The tactics used by the April 6 Movement and Kifaya "were straight out of CANVAS’s training curriculum." (Quoted in Tina Rosenberg, Revolution U, Foreign Policy, February 16, 2011 )

It is worth noting the similarity of the logos as well as the names involved in CANVAS-OTPOR sponsored "Colored Revolutions" The April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt used the clenched fist as its logo, Kifaya ("Enough!") has the same name as the Youth Protest movement supported by OTPOR in Georgia which was named Kmara! ("Enough!"). Both groups were trained by CANVAS.

Georgia’s Kmara ("Enough!")

The Role of CANVAS-OTPOR in the Occupy Wall Street Movement

CANVAS-OPTOR is currently involved in the Occupy Wall Street Movement (#OWS).

Several key organizations currently involved in The Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) movement played a significant role in "The Arab Spring". Of significance, "Anonymous", the social media "hacktivist" group, was involved in waging cyber-attacks on Egyptian government websites at the height of "The Arab Spring".(http://anonops.blogspot.com, see also http://anonnews.org/)

In May 2011, "Anonymous" waged cyberattacks on Iran and last August, it waged similar cyber-attacks directed against the Syrian Ministry Defense. These cyber-attacks were waged in support of the Syrian "opposition" in exile, which is largely integrated by Islamists. (See Syrian Ministry Of Defense Website Hacked By ‘Anonymous’, Huffington Post, August 8, 2011).

The actions of "Anonymous" in Syria and Iran are consistent with the framework of the "Colored Revolutions". They seek to demonize the political regime and create political instability. (For analysis on Syria’s Opposition, see Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO "Humanitarian Intervention" Global Research, May 3, 2011)

Both CANVAS and Anonymous are now actively involved in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

The precise role of CANVAS in the Occupy Wall Street Movement remains to be assessed.

Ivan Marovic, a leader of CANVAS recently addressed the Occupy Wall Street protest movement in New York City. Listen carefully to his speech. (Bear in mind that his organization CANVAS is supported by NED).

Click link below to listen to Ivan Marovic’s address to Occupy Wall Street in New York City

Ivan Marovic addresses Occupy Wall Street

Marovic acknowledged in an earlier statement that there is nothing spontaneous in the planning of a "revolutionary event":

"It looks like people just went into the street. But it’s the result of months or years of preparation. It is very boring until you reach a certain point, where you can organize mass demonstrations or strikes. If it is carefully planned, by the time they start, everything is over in a matter of weeks." (Quoted in Tina Rosenberg, Revolution U, Foreign Policy, February 16, 2011)

This statement by OTPOR’s spokesperson Ivan Marovic would suggest that the protest movements in the Arab World did not spread spontaneously from one country to another, as portrayed by the Western media. The national protest movements were planned well in advance. The chronology and sequencing of these national protest movements were also planned.

Similarly, Maravic’s statement also suggests that The Occupy Wall Street movement was also the object of careful advanced planning by a number of key organizations on tactics and strategy.

It is worth noting that one of OTPOR’s tactics is "not try to avoid arrests", but rather to "provoke them and use them to the movement’s advantage." as a PR strategy. (Ibid)

Occupy Wall Street Clenched Fist on http://occupywallst.org

MUST WATCH: Occupy Wall Street & The Revolution Business (Washington, Pentagon | U.S. Agenda)

“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Democratic change has been demanded across the Middle East. But was what seems like a spontaneous revolution actually a strategically planned event, fabricated by ‘revolution consultants’ long in advance?

In 2004 George Bush announced a “Greater Middle East Project” at the G8 summit. Bush stated that Washington’s goal was to turn the Middle East into a free market paradise with shock therapy.

Revolution consultants are the worst nightmare of every regime. Srdja Popovic was a founder of the organisation ‘Otpor’, a revolution training school. It was instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s and has now inspired a new generation of activists. Political commentators like William Engdahl are convinced Otpor is being financed by the USA. “The people from Otpor gave us a book in which they described all their strategies”, says Ezzedine Zaatour of the Tunisian uprising. That book was written by an American, Gene Sharp, and is now considered the “revolution guide book”, being used by opposition movements worldwide. As Optor release their latest gadget, a resistance training computer game sponsored by American organisations, world leaders are voicing their concerns. “This is called a gentle coup!”, states Hugo Chavez.

Otpor! (which means “Resistance!” in Serbian) is funded by known CIA fronts such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) the International Republican Institute (headed by John McCain), the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington (established by President Reagan in 1984 and funded by the U.S. Congress), and Council on Foreign Relations foundations such as the Carnegie Group and the Albert Einstein Institute. These government gangs are the “private companies” that Otpor! leader Srdja Popovic refers to in the video. Otpor!, became despised by the people of its native Serbia when it was exposed as a CIA front. This resulted in its operatives changing their name to the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies – CANVAS. (read more here: No Free Speech at Occupy Wall Street, San Diego)

Creepy: Otpor Training Evident on Occupy Wall Street?

Ivan Marovic of ‘Otpor!’ addresses Occupy Wall Street 09/22/11

Bill McKibben at Occupy Wall Street rally 10/8/2011