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Philippines: The NED, the NGOs and the CIA

Manila Standard Today

April 12 (Part 1) , April 26 (Part 2)

By Rod Kapunan

 

ned

 

Part One

William Blum, the author of the book, “Rogue State,”  said that while the object of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in the post Cold War era has  been relegated to history, many  are not inclined to believe that subversion has lost its relevance.  Rather, it has only been redirected at overthrowing governments that refuse to tow the line gleaned from the  NED’s slogan of “Supporting Freedom Around the World.”

Here in the Philippines, the so-called restoration  of freedom saw the popping out like mushrooms of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the newly-created CIA front called “NED” leading in guiding the government it  installed to power.   The CIA too had to shed off some of its  covert activities by making itself “transparent.”   Through the NED, local NGOs openly collaborated with the government it held by the noose, with each having a specialized task to “motivate” people in the various sectors of civil society.

As Blum observed:  “In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, fax machines, copiers, automobiles and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED programs generally impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free market economy is equated with democracy, reform and growth, and the merits of foreign investment are emphasized.”

WATCH | RT: NGO Documents Plan Ukraine War

Published March 8, 2014

 

Pierre Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolution Groups With US Government, Documents Show

Pando

February 28, 2014

By Mark Ames

Just hours after last weekend’s ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, one of Pierre Omidyar’s newest hires at national security blog “The Intercept,” was already digging for the truth.

Marcy Wheeler, who is the new site’s “senior policy analyst,” speculated that the Ukraine revolution was likely a “coup” engineered by “deep” forces on behalf of “Pax Americana”:

“There’s quite a bit of evidence of coup-ness. Q is how many levels deep interference from both sides is.”

These are serious claims. So serious that I decided to investigate them. And what I found was shocking.

Wheeler is partly correct. Pando has confirmed that the American government – in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – played a major role in funding opposition groups prior to the revolution. Moreover, a large percentage of the rest of the funding to those same groups came from a US billionaire who has previously worked closely with US government agencies to further his own business interests. This was by no means a US-backed “coup,” but clear evidence shows that US investment was a force multiplier for many of the groups involved in overthrowing Yanukovych.

But that’s not the shocking part.

What’s shocking is the name of the billionaire who co-invested with the US government (or as Wheeler put it: the “dark deep force” acting on behalf of “Pax Americana”).

Step out of the shadows…. Wheeler’s boss, Pierre Omidyar.

Yes, in the annals of independent media, this might be the strangest twist ever: According to financial disclosures and reports seen by Pando, the founder and publisher of Glenn Greenwald’s government-bashing blog,“The Intercept,” co-invested with the US government to help fund regime change in Ukraine.

WATCH: ‘Democracy Projects’ Are Not Democratic: The Case of Ukraine & Russia

LPAC TV

Video published on Feb 20, 2014

The recent gaffe of Victoria Nuland being caught using her post in the U.S. State Department to push a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi into the presidency of Ukraine reveals a far more contemptible role being played by leading transatlantic forces, desperate to bring Eurasia under its control for its own political/economic survival.

Same Old Road to Hell

Get Moving Before It’s Too Late

Counterpunch

January 20, 2014

by Joan Roelofs

stop-ngo-pillage-of-haiti-protest--london_1189862

The genesis for Nikolas Barry-Shaw and Dru Oja Jay’s book, Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s Development NGOs from Idealism to Imperialism (Fernwood Publishing, 2012), was the discovery that Canadian development non-governmental organizations (NGOs), even those considered progressive, aided in the 2004 coup to overthrow Aristide in Haiti. They gave resources to his opponents, and continued to demonize Aristide and his grassroots movement, Lavalas. The authors, members of Haiti Action Montreal (linked with Canada Haiti action network), were especially shocked at the stance of Alternatives, a Montreal based group, and began to question the role of NGOs in general.

Protesta Popular Triunfa contra Presión de EEUU en Paraguay y Destituyen a Gloria Rubin

Blogueros y Corresponsales de la Revolución

publicado por Luis Agüero Wagner

el agosto 12, 2013

Una fuerte protesta popular y de toda la sociedad paraguaya finalmente se impuso a las presiones de la embajada norteamericana, y el presidente electo Horacio Cartes decidió destituir a la polémica Ministra de la Mujer Gloria Rubin.

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.

BOLIVIA | The United States Uses Diplomacy to Destroy Nations

Since the decade of the 50s, U.S. administrations have implemented policies intended to destroy the nations that do not coincide with its ideology and do not respect its hegemony.

Cambio Newspaper

October 16, 2012

Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti (*)

“Without a doubt, the Right that is being promoted and financed by the U.S. will react, but to delay this defensive action would be to make the same mistake of the revolution of 1952. Bolivia also has to shut down all of the channels of penetration, including NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which, using as a parapet the Instituto de Democracia y Gobernabilidad, even this far into the process of change can still give itself the luxury of rounding up the best political science students of the country with the pretext of an essay contest to take the 30 best to the city of Sucre, all expenses paid, to “teach” them how to present to the Plurinational Legislative Assembly a citizens’ project on intercultural matters and governability that obviously reflects the agenda of the United States for Bolivia.”



In recent days, President Evo Morales and the Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, expressed separately the discontent and the harm caused by the incessant subversive U.S. campaign against Bolivia. Several of us Bolivians have agreed that the interventionism of the United States in Bolivian territory is reaching intolerable limits.

On Friday, October 12, 2012, I said on Eva Golinger’s program, Detrás de la Noticia, that “the diplomatic relations of countries that distance themselves from the policies of the United States, are very difficult because Washington uses the access that such relations provide to  invade them with the power of all its agencies that are experts in coup d’états, promoting the opposition, exacerbating conflicts and establishing bases for what later becomes a program of nation building; but it rather means the destruction of countries, since it begins with the destruction of the original anti-imperialist nation in order to replace it with one that is complacent, or, if that is not possible, divide it in two, so as to build against the anti-imperialist nation its antagonist Siamese twin, which from then on, will do the dirty work of the counter-revolution”.

Despite the signing of the new framework agreement on diplomatic relations, Bolivia remains irremediably tied to the disastrous Point IV agreement of 1951 for technical cooperation, through which the United States adjudicated to itself the right to intervene directly in Bolivian politics by means of aid that was supervised by its agents and of programs that were independent from any supervision by the Bolivian government.

The goal was to move rightward the MNR’s socialism and nationalism, corrupt the revolution of 1952, restore and indoctrinate the armed forces that had been dissolved by the people, prepare them for the military dictatorships of the 70s and 80s, and impose the imperialism of the 90s and the 2000s. Absolutely everything is based on the agreement of 1951.

The first guideline for subjection is written into the title of the agreement, which reads: “Point four general agreement for technical cooperation between the United States of America and Bolivia.” Regrettably, it seems that no one in Bolivia thought of questioning the meaning of the mysterious Point IV.

It turns out that the program called Point IV, through which the United States signed bilateral agreements with the countries of the Third World, was the program of technical and economic assistance in the fields of agriculture, military affairs, scholarships, information, and political advisors that was created by president Harry Truman in 1949 and approved by Congress in June of 1950. It got the name of Point IV because it was the fourth foreign policy objective he mentioned in his speech. What was not mentioned in the agreements was that that point was clearly related to point three of the same speech, which established as an objective to “strengthen freedom-loving nations against the dangers of aggression.”

Freedom House: The Language of Hubris [Freedom House in Venezuela]

September 20, 2012
by Jeremy Bigwood

 NACLA

[The following article is from the Summer 2012 issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas, “Latin America and the Global Economy.” It was published alongside Jeremy Bigwood’s expose of Freedom House’s role in clandestinely nurturing and organizing the opposition to Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez over the last eight years.]

1255 Freedom House offices in Washington (credit: Jeremy Bigwood)

Freedom House is the oldest Washington-based NGO working in the international arena. It was founded just before the beginning of the U.S. entry into World War II and blossomed during the Cold War. Freedom House today positions itself as a nuanced, liberal, or even left-of-center organization, obscuring its real agenda: to destabilize foreign governments whose policies challenge U.S. global hegemony. Since the 1980s Reagan revolution, its Board of Trustees has been largely composed of neoconservatives, including R. J. Woolsey, the former director of the CIA; Donald Rumsfeld; Paul Wolfowitz; Jeane Kirkpatrick; and Samuel P. Huntington.1 Although it likes to call itself “independent,” it receives about 80% of its funding from the U.S. government, either through the State Department, USAID, or the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).2 As such, it is clearly an instrument of the U.S. government.3 The rest of its funding is underwritten by foundations that pay for its annual Freedom in the World report, which ranks countries according to how free they are—as perceived through the eyes of Freedom House’s main office in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. This report is widely cited as gospel in the news media but has been heavily criticized by academics for its biased methodology.4

During the Cold War, Freedom House acted as the principal U.S.-based intellectual organ for attacking the ideologies and policies of Soviet and Chinese communism. But it almost always artfully avoided any discussion of the embarrassing inconsistencies between U.S. ideals and practices, such as the U.S. government’s Cold War activities in Latin America, Africa, and South East Asia, and its domestic racial policies. Even so, few NACLA readers would find fault with all of Freedom House’s work during the Cold War or after. As such, the organization belongs to a gray area of U.S. foreign policy.

Freedom House underwent a significant shift toward promoting neoliberal economic and political policies after the 1973 coup in Chile against the democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende.5 Since the end of the Cold War, Freedom House has adjusted to the new geopolitical environment by shifting its attention from attacking Communism to undermining what Washington considers to be “authoritarian” and “populist” countries. Freedom House now quietly funds projects in those countries that the United States considers to be economic or ideological threats, or more openly in allies that the United States wants to keep in line. Freedom House tends to stay away from U.S.-friendly totalitarian regimes and monarchies.

Freedom House arrogantly holds that it has the right to operate anywhere in the world with or without the permission of the local government. In response to queries about its activities in other countries, an online Freedom House fact sheet explains: “Language in the annual State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill states that U.S. democracy and human rights programming shall not be subject to the prior approval by the government of any foreign country.”6 In other words, Freedom House believes that, with the permission of the U.S. Congress, it has the right to decide when and where it can meddle in any other government on the planet.

To rationalize this imperious position, the fact sheet continues: “In order for a foreign group to legally operate within the United States, it must simply fill out the proper tax forms. Civil society organizations within the United States do not have to report their activities to or receive approval from the United States government.” While this may be true for U.S. private- or government-funded and operated civil society programs, it would not apply to U.S.-based organizations funded by foreign governments—especially hostile ones. Fortunately for U.S. national sovereignty, the law clearly states that any individuals or entities working “as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity” in order to influence the U.S. political system must register as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).7 FARA would clearly be applicable to any organization receiving foreign funding and working to influence the outcome of elections, international court cases, and the like. In the United States, there are serious penalties for unregistered paid agents of a foreign country who actively meddle in U.S. domestic politics, which is precisely what Freedom House does in other countries.

 


 

Jeremy Bigwood is an investigative reporter whose work has appeared in American Journalism ReviewThe Village Voice, and several other publications. He covered Latin American conflicts from 1984 to 1994 as a photojournalist. See his article in this Report, “Freedom House in Venezuela.”

 


 

1. Diego Giannone, “Political and Ideological Aspects in the Measurement of Democracy: the Freedom House Case,” Democratization 17, no. 1 (January–February 2010): 68–97, available at tandfonline.com.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., 75.

4. Gerardo l. Munck and Jay Verkuilen, “Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Comparative Political Studies 35, no. 1 (February 2002): 5–34; Scott Mainwaring, with Daniel Brinks and Anibal Perez Liñán, “Political Regimes in Latin America, 1900–2007,” available at kellogg.nd.edu.

5. David Harvey, “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610 (March 2007): 26, as quoted in Giannone, “Political and Ideological Aspects in the Measurement of Democracy.”

6. Sarah Trister, “Fact Sheet: Freedom House in Egypt,” January 2012, available at freedomhouse.org.

7. U.S. Department of Justice, “Foreign Agents Registration Act,” available at fara.gov

 

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