Thursday, September 20, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 23

Ex-Newsday Publisher Bill Moyers with Harry Guggenheim in 1967

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 23 

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

Forty years before the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation gave its first $25,000 [equal to over $33,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! “to fund Special 2004 election coverage for Democracy Now!,”, the FBI apparently spied on civil rights Movement demonstrators at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City and then, ironically, reported back to longtime Schumann Foundation president Bill Moyers—who was then LBJ’s 30-year-old Special Assistant to the President in the White House. According, for example, to an Aug. 29, 1964 memo to FBI Assistant Director John Mohr, which appeared in From The Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover (edited by Arthur Theoharis) from FBI Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach: 

“By means of informant coverage, by use of various confidential techniques,…by infiltration of key groups through use of undercover agents and through utilization of agents using appropriate cover as reporters, we were able to keep the White House fully apprised of all major developments during the Convention’s course…Through our highly confidential coverage of…Martin Luther King…together with similar coverage we established on the headquarters of CORE-SNCC, we were in a position to advise the White House in advance of all plans made by these two sources…I kept…MOYERS constantly advised by telephone of minute by minute developments…”

On Sept. 10, 1964, then-FBI Assistant Director DeLoach also wrote a personal letter to Democracy Now! funder Moyers (a copy of which is in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library) which stated:

“Thank you for your very thoughtful and generous note concerning our operation in Atlantic City. Please be assured that it was a pleasure and privilege to be able to be of assistance…I think everything worked out well, and I’m certainly glad that we were able to come through with vital tidbits from time to time which were of assistance to you…You know you have only to call on us when a similar situation arises…”\


Democracy Now! Funder/Ex-LBJ Special Assistant Moyers with LBJ
And as Aquarian Weekly noted in its Oct. 30, 1996 issue, Moyers apparently also used the FBI in a politically partisan way during the 1964 U.S. presidential campaign, when the Democracy Now! funder was LBJ’s special assistant. According, for example, to Victor Laskey’s It Didn’t Start With Watergate book:

“Another piece of skullduggery in which Moyers was involved occurred two weeks before Election Day. As special assistant to the President he ordered the FBI to run a name check on numerous members of [1964 GOP presidential candidate Barry] Goldwater’s campaign and Senate staffers…What the President was looking for, Moyers told the FBI, was information about `fags’…on the Arizonan’s staff…The FBI, which had no right to do so, did conduct inquiries into the bedroom proclivities of the Goldwater staffers…”

The same book also noted that “according to a staff report of the Senate Intelligence Committee released in 1976, it was none other than Bill Moyers…who `expressly approved’ the circulation within the Executive Branch of a secret FBI report on King.”

But in late January 1967, Democracy Now! funder Moyers finally left his position as Johnson White House Press Secretary and LBJ’s Special Assistant to work as the Publisher-Manager of Guggenheim Dynasty member Harry Guggenheim’s Newsday corporate media newspaper for a few years. The son of the organizer of the `Alaska Syndicate’ that destroyed some of Alaska’s earth, Multi-Millionaire Harry Guggenheim had used a small portion of the Guggenheim Dynasty’s fortune he had inherited to purchase a suburban Long Island newspaper in 1940 for his third wife, Alicia Patterson-Guggenheim, to operate under the name of Newsday.

After his much younger wife died in 1963, however, the then-73-year-old Harry Guggenheim began to play a more active daily editorial role in running Newsday and began to search for a male heir for both his share of the Guggenheim fortune and his newspaper, in the event of his own death; and in 1967 this member of the Guggenheim dynasty decided that Democracy Now! funder Moyers should succeed him as Newsday owner and inherit much of his $50 million [equal to over $374 million in 2018] share of the Guggenheim fortune.

According to David Halberstam’s The Powers That Be book, “Bill Moyers had always, first with Lyndon Johnson, then with Harry Guggenheim, shown an ability to charm older men…” So Moyers was then brought into the Newsday editorial office as publisher to run the newspaper for Harry Guggenheim for a few years.

But Harry Guggenheim, being a Republican, eventually changed his mind about letting the former Democratic Party political operative Moyers be his heir; and, instead, Guggenheim decided in May 1970, less than a year before his death in January 1971, to sell his Newsday newspaper to the Los Angeles, California-based Times-Mirror media conglomerate, that was then owned by the Chandler Dynasty family.

Consequently, Democracy Now! funder Moyers then began working for both the CBS corporate media conglomerate’s news department and the U.S. power elite’s foundation, government and corporate-funded Public Broadcasting Service [PBS], during the 1970s and 1980s.

After leaving CBS in 1986, however, Moyers was mostly then just seen on U.S. television hosting the programs that his U.S. power elite foundation-funded Public Affairs Television Inc. media firm produced for foundation, corporate or U.S. government-funded PBS-affiliated television stations to broadcast; and after 1991 LBJ’s former Vietnam Era White House Special Assistant and  White House Press Secretary also was the president of the Schumann Foundation/Center for Media and Democracy--which some Schumann family members had established with the millions they inherited from an IBM founder and former president of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation.
Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004

In an article, titled “Journalistic Foundations,” that Michael Getler posted on the internet on Jul. 20, 2009, Getler noted that, according to a Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation spokesperson and “Moyers deputy,” Moyers met the Schumann family members in 1986 “when the then president of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, Bill Mullins, read in the New York Times that Moyers was leaving CBS News to start his own independent production company to create programs for public broadcasting.” According to the same Moyers deputy and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy spokesperson:

“Mullins introduced him to the Schumanns who then made a large grant to help launch the operation. Over the next three years Bill made periodic reports in person to the Schumann Board. In 1991…when…Mullins suddenly was stricken with a…cancer that took his life in six months, the family asked Bill to succeed him even while continuing his journalism….It would have been inappropriate for the Foundation he was then running to support his own work on the air. Since assuming the presidency at the Foundation, no Schumann funds have ever been used for Bill's own journalism or for any PAT [Public Affairs Television] programming.”

But in 1998 Public Affairs Television CEO and Democracy Now! funder Moyers was paid a total annual compensation of over $104,000 [equal to over $158,000 in 2018] by the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy for serving as its part-time President; and Democracy Now! funder Moyer’s son, John Moyers, also was being paid a total annual compensation exceeding $100,000 by the Schumann Foundation for being its executive director--at the same time Moyers’ son also utilized Schumann Foundation grant money to fund the TomPaine.com parallel left media website project of the Florence Fund of which he also was the executive director. 

So although “no Schumann funds” may “have ever been used for” Moyers’ “own journalism” or to help directly fund his Public Affairs Television media firm since 1991, Schumann funds from longtime Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Moyers’ foundation were used to fund the TomPaine.com media project and journalism work of Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ son, John Moyers. According, for example, to Michael Gellert’s 2009 article on journalism foundations:

“…In 2004, according to IRS filings, the Schumann Center sponsored a grant of $2 million to The Florence Fund "to support the TomPaine.com project and operating costs. Balance of $1.5 million was rescinded on May 18, 2004." TomPaine.com was founded in 1999 by John Moyers, Bill's son, and he left in 2003, before the 2004 Schumann grant. But the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, which was the Center's earlier name, also supported TomPaine.com with an earlier $2.5 million grant via The Florence Fund in 2001, according to IRS records.”

As the Moyers deputy and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy spokesperson also noted:

"John Moyers was the program officer at Schumann when it was the Florence and John Schumann Foundation. The two brothers, Ford and Robert Schumann, had a special affinity for John, having met him when he proposed an environmental series for NPR which they funded (that's how he came to work for the Foundation later.) When John Moyers then proposed to them creating a web operation based in Washington as an independent operation, they agreed. Bill…was pleased with their decision. They formed a new entity called the Florence Fund…with John as its publisher and editor. Bill… was very proud when John Moyers…received the Herblock Award for… journalism at an occasion in Washington at which Bill was asked to speak. After five years...John…resigned to return to Vermont where he is…in business. He has twice declined the Schumann brothers' invitation to take over the Schumann Center as Bill's successor because he prefers his life in Vermont.” (end of part 23)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 22

Democracy Now! Funder and Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Press Secretary Moyers with LBJ

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 22

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

In his 1969 book, The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson, a Princeton University Professor of History named Eric Goldman described the historical role that 21st-century Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers played within the White House in the 1960s Vietnam War Era during the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson in the following way:

“…With the confidence and affection of President Johnson…he was in a freewheeling position. He carried on some activities like…determining who was to meet with the President…He also supervised the planning of presidential trips and had a good deal to do with determining not only where President Johnson went but how he projected himself. But the Moyers role was sweeping well beyond. He was…writing a number of important speeches and heavily editing the drafts others prepared.

“Increasingly Moyers sat in on presidential conferences and talked for long hours alone with President Johnson…The President…permitted Bill Moyers to assume increasingly the role of chief of staff…This meant that Moyers delegated many of the tasks within the White House; often spoke in the name of the President to officials from the Vice-President on down and to powerful people outside the government; sometimes okayed or vetoed proposals of varying importance without consulting the Oval Office; had a hand—on occasion, a decisive hand—in making many top-level appointments; and was likely to be called by the President for long talks about developments…”
Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004

But during the period when Democracy Now! funder Moyers was also the Johnson White House Press Secretary, then-New York Times columnist James Reston asserted, in a Jan. 7, 1966 New York Times article, that the Johnson “White House misleads public by not being completely truthful with newsmen,” according to the New York Times Index 1966 book. In addition, Moyers apparently attempted to manage news coverage of the Johnson White House’s actions and manipulate public opinion in the USA as LBJ’s press secretary by planting questions for some corporate media Establishment journalists to ask President Johnson during LBJ’s White House press conferences. According to page 579 of the New York Times Index 1966 book a Jan. 11, 1966 New York Times article reported the following:

“Press Secretary Moyers says press conferences are designed to serve `convenience of President, not convenience of press,’ TV interview; says they are device to let President say what is on his mind; defends `planting’ questions with newsmen beforehand; admits he plants questions…”

Although Moyers officially remained LBJ’s White House Press Secretary until late January 1967, in April 1966 Moyers moved from the White House press office to an office in the West Executive wing of the Johnson White House where (according to an entry, related to an Apr. 3, 1966 New York Times article, on page 573 of New York Times Index 1966), the Democracy Now! funder was “seen influencing Johnson more than anyone else;” and his “ability to understand Johnson and satisfy his wishes,” as LBJ escalated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, was “noted.” The same New York Times Index 1966 entry for Apr. 3, 1966 also noted that Moyers “handles day-to-day decision-making” in the Johnson White House. 

According to the book Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam Papers that David Barrett edited, for example, a file labeled "Meeting Notes File, Box 1," at the LBJ Library in Texas contains a copy of a Feb. 10, 1965 document, titled "Summary Record of NSC Meeting No. 548…Cabinet Room, 2:10 P.M. Re: Vietnam," which includes a reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers and states the following:

“…Secretary McNamara said that Ambassador Taylor, the Joint Chiefs and the Department of Defense recommended a retaliatory strike today at daylight. He explained to the President the targets in North Vietnam which could be hit today…The President stressed the importance of preventing any leaks to newspapers…In response to the President’s questions, Secretary McNamara said about 130 planes would be used in the strike recommended for approval…The President asked whether all those present agreed we should launch a retaliatory strike…The President received affirmative answers when he asked Director McCone, Secretary Dillon, and Director Rowan whether they agreed with the recommended strike plan. MR. MOYERS said he thought the strike should be made to meet domestic public opinion requirements…”

A file labeled "Reference File, Vietnam, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of an Apr. 27, 1965 memo that Bill Moyers wrote to "The President" in which the longtime president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Foundation that funds Democracy Now! stated:

"Goodwin and I have heard reports that the State Department is going to do another White Paper on Vietnam.

“We think this one should be much better—and much more effective—than the last one. We would like to write it (as, in fact other White Papers in the past were prepared in the White House, the one on Cuba, being the most prominent example).

"This paper should not be an effort to `fool' people.  It should be honest, straightforward--strongly buttressed by facts--and designed to appeal to liberals and intellectuals, those people who have the most problem right now with our position in South Vietnam."

Another file labeled "Meeting Notes, File, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of a Sept. 19, 1965 "Memorandum for the record, re: Luncheon Meeting with the President, Ball, McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Raborn, MOYERS and Califano," which includes the following reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers:

“MOYERS said that we had been too defensive in our public handling of the tear gas situation, that we should remind the world that the Viet Cong slit throats and bomb children and that any human being in one of the Vietnam caves would prefer to cry from tear gas rather than be killed by hand grenades…”

Another interesting reference to Moyers is contained in a file labeled "NS File, M. Bundy Files, Memos to President, Box 2," at the LBJ Library.  In a Feb. 2, 1965 memo to "The President," re: "A Deputy or Potential Successor in my office," the now-deceased former National Security Affairs Advisor and Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy wrote:

“Some weeks ago you asked me who should take over if, for any reason, I was no longer on this job, and I told you I had thought some about it.

“The ideal man for this job is BILL MOYERS…”

According to a 1991 book, Film and Propaganda In America: A Documentary History, Volume IV: 1945 and After that Lawrence Suid edited, a file related to John Wayne's pro-war Sixties movie, The Green Berets, at the LBJ Library also contains an interesting April 21, 1966 letter from Bill Moyers to John Wayne, in which Democracy Now! funder Moyers wrote:

“Dear Mr. Wayne:

"…We are grateful for your continuing support of the President's policy to put an end to aggression in Vietnam.

"Best wishes,

"Sincerely,

"BILL MOYERS

"Special Assistant to the President."

And a de-classified transcript of a taped Johnson White House Oval Office conversation between LBJ and Democracy Now! funder and long-time Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Moyers that took place at 9:15 p.m. on M 13, 1965 reveals what Moyers said to LBJ prior to McGeorge Bundy’s appearance at a campus teach-in to argue in defense of the Johnson administration’s escalation of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam:

“I just hate for the President’s representative to be debating with that bunch of…a lot of (them) will be kooks, a lot of them are just misguided zealots. It just sort of demeans our position. I don’t think the White House ever has to debate. I think if—you don’t make decisions by debating. You make your decisions and then history will justify them. You can’t get out and debate in favor of support for them.

“I’m certain Mac [McGeorge Bundy] will control his temper. If he were to lose it once, it would be bad…” (end of part 22)

Friday, September 7, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 21

Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave Democracy Now! $1.5 Million Since 2004


In The Pay of Foundations—Part 21

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

Although large numbers of people from the Dominican Republic now live in New York City area from which the parallel left Democracy Now! radio and cable tv show originates, since 2004 Democracy Now! has not provided its listeners with many news segments examining which special U.S. corporate interests benefited most from the Democratic Johnson White House’s decision to order U.S. military troops to occupy the Dominican Republic in 1965 or many weekly updates on the 21st-century political and economic situation within the Dominican Republic.

One reason might be because the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation has given the Democracy Now! media firm over $1.5 million in grants since 2004; and the long-time president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation, Bill Moyers, was one of the Johnson White House officials responsible for the decision to order U.S. troops to invade and occupy the Dominican Republic in late April 1965, in violation of the United Nations Charter.


LBJ's Military Occupation of Dominican Republic Protected G. and W. Investments
But a year before U.S. troops were sent to the Dominican Republic by the Johnson White House in 1965 the U.S.-based Gulf and Western corporation had also begun, coincidentally, to spend $54 million [equal to over $426 million in 2018] to acquire, by 1967, control of the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company that owned 450 square miles or 300,000 acres of Dominican Republic land and a sugar mill in La Romana, Dominican Republic; and the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company was then merged with Gulf and Western Industries.

As a result, Gulf and Western, now controlling 8 percent of all arable land in the Dominican Republic, became that country’s largest landowner and largest private employer between 1967 and 1985; and it produced sugar cane on about 50 percent of the land it now owned. In addition, by the early 1980s the U.S.-based corporation owned and operated the Hotel Santo Domingo and Hispaniola in Santo Domingo and the Casa de Campo Resort Complex in La Romana. According to a June 13, 1984 New York Times article:

“In 1974 and 1975, G.and W. made millions by speculating in sugar in the republic. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which later investigated G. and W., estimated that G. and W. may have made as much as $64.5 million [equal to between $306 million and $340 million in 2018] during those years. In 1979, the S.E.C. sued G. and W. charging that…[then-Gulf and Western Chairman Charles] Bluhdorn had made a secret agreement with high officials of the Dominican Government to speculate in sugar….”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] also accused Gulf and Western in 1975 of illegally failing to pay the Dominican Republic’s government more than $38 million [equal to over $180 million in 2018] in profits generated by its business activities in the Dominican Republic that it was under a legal obligation to pay; and Gulf and Western was compelled by the SEC in 1980 to agree to spend $39 million during the next 7 years funding some kind of development program in the Dominican Republic.

Around 19,000 agricultural workers were exploited by Gulf and Western in the Dominican Republican each year during the cane-cutting season between 1967 and the early 1980s. So, not surprisingly, when the National Council of Churches requested that Gulf and Western fully disclose detailed data on what its agricultural workers in the Dominican Republic were being paid in hourly wages in 1976, Gulf and Western executives refused to disclose this information.

In the early 1980s, however, “rising poverty, unassailable unemployment and inflation running at over 50 percent became the norm” in the Dominican Republic; and following the Balageur government’s imposed “price hike under the IMF-induced austerity measures” on Apr. 23, 1984, street protests “spread out” from Santo Domingo “leaving the nation rocked from three days of civic protest” and with “as many as 112 civilians dead, hundreds more wounded in the streets, and over 4,000 demonstrators imprisoned,” according to the 2000 book Dominican Republic: A Guide To The People, Politics and Culture.

So, also not surprisingly, in 1985 Gulf and Western sold its Dominican assets after 18 years of exploiting the country’s sugar production resources. As the New York Times reported in its June 13, 1984 article, “in a move that would end nearly 20 years of involvement in the Dominican Republic, Gulf and Western Industries said yesterday that it would try to sell its sugar growing operations and holdings there” and “analysts had expected G. and W. to try to rid itself of its troubled sugar operations.”

Yet “registered U.S. private investment in the Dominican Republic” still “stood at approximately $660 million [equal to over $1.2 billion in 2018] in 1990” and “a multitude of North American companies and their subsidiaries” still operated “in the country: Abbott Laboratories, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, Esso, Falconbridge, Ford, IBM, Texaco and Xerox,” according to James Ferguson’s 1992 book The Dominican Republic: Behind The Lighthouse. And  “almost half of all” Dominican “companies” were still “owned by U.S. or Canadian interests” in 2000, according to the 2000 book Dominican Republic: A Guide To The People, Politics and Culture.


Democracy Now! Funder and Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Press Secretary Moyers with LBJ

Democracy Now! funder Moyers also participated in both a May 13, 1965 meeting with the former long-time Ford Foundation president Bundy, then-CIA official Helms and then-Defense Secretary McNamara and a May 14, 1965 meeting with Bundy that discussed U.S. policy decisions related to the Dominican Republic. And at the May 14, 1965 meeting, former Ford Foundation president “Bundy advocated having United States troops clean out the northern section of Santo Domingo,” according to a declassified Johnson White House document.

As payment for his participation as President Lyndon Johnson’s special assistant in the Johnson White House policy decision meetings like the April and May 1965 meetings that discussed the situation in the Dominican Republic, Democracy Now! funder and long-time Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation president Moyers was paid an annual salary in 1965 of $28,500 [equal to over $225,000  in 2018], according to a Jan. 17, 1965 New York Times article. And on Jul. 9, 1965, Moyers was appointed by LBJ to be his acting White House Press Secretary.

Subsequently, Moyers became Johnson’s permanent White House Press Secretary and filled that Johnson White House staff position until Jan. 25, 1967. According to a Dec. 14, 1965 New York Times article, Newsweek magazine later then reported that Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ annual salary from his White House gig as LBJ’s press secretary was to be increased to $30,000 [equal to over $237,000 in 2018] in 1966.

But when the Johnson White House’s National Security Affairs Advisor Bundy announced in December 1965 that he was resigning his White House position as of Feb. 25, 1966 to become the president of the Ford Foundation (which, coincidentally, later also helped fund the Democracy Now! show in the late 1990s and early 21st-century), a Dec. 9, 1965 New York Times article reported that “Johnson will not shift Moyers to Bundy post” because “Johnson wants Moyers free to be troubleshooter,” according to the New York Times Index 1965 book. (end of part 21)

Monday, September 3, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 20

Democracy Now! Funder and Ex-LBJ Special Assistant Moyers With LBJ
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 20

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers. 

In the Dominican Republic “in February 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president” of that country “since 1924;” and “he called for land reform; low-rent housing; modest nationalization of business; foreign investment provided it was not excessively exploitative of the country and other policies,” according to William Blum’s 2000 book, Rogue State. But “a number of American officials and congressmen expressed their discomfort with Bosch’s plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States,” according to the same book.

So, not surprisingly, as David Howard’s Dominican Republic: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture book recalled in 2000, “Bosch…lasted only 7 months in office” as Dominican Republic “military officers” overthrew his democratically elected “government and annulled the constitution; and their troops surrounded the National Palace on Sept. 5, 1963."  But, as Rogue State observed, “nineteen months later,” in April 1965, “a widespread popular revolt broke out” in the Dominican Republic “which promised to put the exiled Bosch back into power.”

The Democratic Johnson White House, in which longtime Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation president Bill Moyers then worked as LBJ’s Special Presidential Assistant, however, ordered 23,000 U.S. troops to invade the island on Apr. 28, 1965; and “by the end of the invasion, more than 3,000 Dominicans and 31 American servicemen had lost their lives” as “the Marines deprived the people of the Dominican Republic of self-determination.” according to an article by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, titled “40 Years Later, U.S. Invasion Still Haunts Dominican Republic,” that was posted on Apr. 21, 2005 on The Progressive magazine’s website. “


Commander of U.S. occupation troops in Dominican Republic in 1965-66
Johnson administration officials then “personally groomed Joaquin Balaguer,” who had been a close advisor to long-time Dominican dictator Trujillo prior to the CIA-backed assassination of Trujillo in 1961, “to head the Dominican government in 1966” and “U.S. aid insured Balaguer's control over the country,” according to a 1978 NACLA article by Philip E. Wheaton about the fraudulent 1978 Dominican Republic elections, that NACLA reposted on its website on Sept. 25, 2007. 

The Dominican Republic: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture book described what happened politically in the Dominican Republic in the three decades between 1966 and 1996 (the year in which the Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation gave Pacifica a $25,000 [equivalent to over $40,000 in 2018] grant to launch the parallel left Democracy Now! daily radio news show):

“Dr. Joaquin Balaguer won the…elections in June 1966, following a violent electoral campaign during which 350 supporters of Bosch’s PRD (Dominican Revolutionary Party) were killed...President Balaguer was not slow to use coercive tactics and force…His main opponent, Juan Bosch, went into voluntary exile as a result of political repression and threats on his life. During the 1966 presidential elections, he had been unable to conduct a political campaign beyond daily radio broadcasts, while Balaguer had been able to tour the country. The…Balaguer administration gave rise to heightened repression, and the 1970 elections were carried out in an atmosphere of violence. La Banda, a group of government-sponsored thugs, carried out 190 political assassinations between 1970 and 1972. Police harassment of political opponents continued unabated…”

James Ferguson’s 1992 book The Dominican Republic: Behind The Lighthouse also recalled that “between…1966 and the end of 1971 over 1,000 political assassinations took place in the Dominican Republic,” although “little of this was reported in the U.S. media.”

In addition, according to David Howard’s Dominican Republic: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture book:

“…Balaguer…defeated his principal opponent, Juan Bosch, at the…elections in 1990 amid allegations of widespread fraud…The 1994 elections followed a similar course…Balaguer was adjudged to have won, but further accusation of fraud threatened to paralyze the country with growing popular discontent…International observers  agreed that opposition parties were disenfranchised…Government supporters were given multiple cedulas or voting cards, and opponents were excluded from the electoral list or intimidated…Many stations were kept closed by armed government supporters or by the police…Fraudulent mandates and the exclusion of the majority of the population from state politics has meant that the Dominican political system has consistently lacked credibility and legitimacy…Balaguer…served as president for 22…years…”

Not surprisingly, in the years between the Johnson White House’s late April 1965 decision to invade the Dominical Republic and 2018, large numbers of people from the Dominican Republic migrated to the United States. By 2000, the Dominican Republic was being described by David Howard in his Dominican Republic: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture book as “a transitional society with over one-tenth of its population living in the United States;” and as Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova noted in an article, “Dominican Immigrants in the United States,” that was posted on the Migration Policy Institute’s website on Apr. 11, 2018:

 “…U.S. intervention accelerated the departure of Dominicans in the 1960s and the decades that followed. In 2016, nearly 1.1 million Dominican immigrants lived in the United States…The Dominican population in the United States, which stood at 12,000 in 1960, reached 169,000 by 1980 and then doubled by 1990 and more than doubled again by 2010…The top four counties by Dominican population were all in New York: Bronx County, New York County (Manhattan), Kings County, and Queens County. Together these counties were home to 41 percent of Dominicans in the United States…The Dominican diaspora in the United States is comprised of about 2.2 million individuals who were either born in the Dominican Republic or reported Dominican ethnicity or ancestry, according to tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau 2016 ACS...” 

Although large numbers of people from the Dominican Republic now live in New York City area from which the parallel left Democracy Now! radio and cable tv show originates, since 2004 Democracy Now! has provided its listeners with neither very many news segments examining the role that the Democratic Johnson White House played in Dominican Republic history in 1965 nor weekly updates on the 21st-century political and economic situation within the Dominican Republic. One reason might be because the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation has given the Democracy Now! media firm over $1.5 million in grants since 2004; and the long-time president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation, Bill Moyers, was one of the Johnson White House officials responsible for the decision to order U.S. troops to invade and occupy the Dominican Republic in late April 1965, in violation of the United Nations Charter.
Schumann Foundation Prez Moyers: Gave $1.5 Million to Democracy Now! since 2004
In 2004, for example, Moyers’ foundation gave a $25,000 [equal to over $33,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! “to fund Special 2004 election coverage for Democracy Now!,” according to the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation’s 2004 Form 990 financial filing. And the 2009 Form 990 financial filing for the same foundation indicates that Moyers’ foundation gave a $300,000 [equal to over $350,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! Productions in 2009.

A grant of $750,000 [equal to over $810,000 in 2018] was next given to Democracy Now! Productions by former Johnson White House Special Presidential Assistant Moyers’ Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation in 2013, according to this foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2013; and, the following year, Moyers’ foundation gave an additional grant of $292,600 to help fund the parallel left Democracy Now! show according to the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2014.

In addition, another grant of $214,074 was given by Moyers’ Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation to Democracy Now! Productions, according to the foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2015; and between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 yet another grant of $250,000, was given to help fund Democracy Now! by Moyers’ foundation, according to the 2016 Form 990 financial filing of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation. 

Yet according to Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s daily diary, on Apr. 28, 1965—the day on which U.S. troops had been ordered by LBJ to begin occupying Dominican Republic territory—Johnson was in the lounge of the White House Oval office from 4:45 p.m. to 6:21 p.m. meeting with then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, then-Assistant Secretary of State George Ball, then-National Security Advisor and future long-time Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy and then-LBJ Special Presidential Assistant and future long-time Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President and Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers. And during this White House meeting a conference call took place, in which Democracy Now! funder Moyers participated, that began at 5:45 p.m., in which “the President said we were not going to announce anything until they have landed” and “the President said that…he would say help was needed to protect the lives of the Americans,” according to a now-declassified Johnson White House document, titled “Memorandum of Telephone Conversation 4/28/1965 5:45 p.m.”.

Democracy Now! funder Moyers also participated in a meeting on the situation in the Dominican Republic that was held in the White House Cabinet Room from 8:40 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. on May 1, 1965 and in a White House meeting that was held on the following day on the situation in the Dominican Republic. Then on May 6, 1965, Moyers joined future Ford Foundation President Bundy, then-Defense Secretary McNamara, Richard Helms of the Central Intelligence Agency and other top-level Johnson administration officials at another meeting in which the situation in the Dominican Republic was discussed. And, according to a new declassified Johnson White House document, titled “Memorandum for the Record May 6, 1965 3:00 p.m.,” at this meeting:

“The group discussed at some length the problem of the communists. The communists possibly ought to be kicked out of the country…In this regard, we must put more emphasis on rounding-up the communists…The group discussed the problem of the Peace Corps people in the Dominican Republic who are giving interviews that are damaging to our interests. Mr. Moyers said that Sargent Shriver is dealing with the problem…”

In an article by Fred Rosen about NACLA’s history that was posted on September 25, 2007 on NACLA’s website, NACLA founder Mike Locker indicated whose special “interests” the Peace Corps people in the Dominican Republic who Democracy Now! funder Moyers wanted  to stop from “giving interviews,” were actually “damaging” by their interviews:

“Suddenly, the United States invaded the Dominican Republic in a massive, overwhelming way, under the pretext of defeating a Communist insurgency. It was quite obvious to me that the pretext was 99% baloney… But when you look at the Dominican Republic and you look at the Caribbean—more so in that period than now—you see that sugar was the dominant force.

“So I started doing some research on who influenced sugar policy in the United States. What was the ‘sugar power elite’? And who pops up but Ellsworth Bunker. Bunker was Lyndon Johnson’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) and special envoy to the Dominican Republic. He was the former president and a large shareholder of National Sugar Refining Corporation, the second largest sugar company in the United States. Right off the bat, this was interesting. Then there was Abe Fortas, Special Counsel to the President: board member of the Sucrest Corporation, very big in Puerto Rico, a large molasses importer. Then there was Averell Harriman, on the Board of Directors and with strong financial ties to the National Sugar Refining Corporation.

“So here was a power structure that I felt was largely influencing what U.S. policy and direction was all about. Was it a conspiracy? No, it wasn’t a conspiracy; it was a culture. Interests were clearly articulated. Preserving interests and preserving environments friendly to those interests was essential, and the U.S. government was obviously making itself available in that capacity.” (end of part 20)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

`Sing of the Life of Love'

 

A folk love song from late summer of 1966 about the life of young romantic soul love (and how to avoid the death of love that Hemingway described in his 1920s novel about "the lost generation.")

Oh, come young girl 
Sit close to me 
Underneath the cherry tree 
I did notice 
Suddenly 
That you were the one for me. 

(chorus) 
The sun it also rises 
But now it remains above 
For you and me together 
Will Sing of the Life of Love. 

O, your hair 
The wind it blows 
And atop I place a rose 
And your lips 
They stir my soul 
Like the feelings from a poem. (chorus) 

Oh, we'll journey 
Far and wide 
And perceive all side by side 
Joined in motion 
So unbound 
Never shall we hear the hound. (chorus)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's June 24, 2018 Letter


The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter. 

"June 24, 2018

"Dear Comrades 

"I hope you’re all OK in these extraordinarily difficult times. I’ve lived through the Great Depression, WW2, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War and its aftermath, the Cuban missile crisis and god knows how many military incursions, takeovers and coups but I cannot remember a more fraught time than this.

"It’s hardly news that Trump is a coldhearted, capricious weirdo who shoots from the hip, but since his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, anti-Trump/anti-Russian hysteria has reached dangerous new levels with ‘proof’ of Russian interference in America’s ‘democratic institutions’ and talk of treason. Not only bullshit but total hypocrisy.

"Americans might suffer from amnesia but the Russians do not. They remember all the foreign invasions and attacks on its sovereignty. Even before the Bolsheviks won their revolution during the bitter civil war, the Allies sent troops into Russia with the intent of installing a more ‘acceptable’ government. By 1919, the US was giving direct military support to Admiral Kolchak’s White regime, but as prospects for victory faded, US troops withdrew in 1920, not by orders from the top, but because the ordinary soldiers were fed up and wanted to go home.

"In 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union before the US entered the war, Roosevelt and Churchill forged an alliance with Stalin, although their real intent was spelled out by Harry Truman, then a US Senator, ‘if the US saw the Nazis were winning it should give them a helping hand’, so once Germany was defeated, thanks to the Soviet Union, communism had to be dealt with. The US exempted key Nazis from prosecution for war crimes and used them to help overthrow the Soviets. One of its earliest actions involved Ukrainians (a close ally of the Nazis) parachuting them back into the Soviet Union to create mayhem. They failed, but it showed how the current furor over Ukraine is simply a replay of an old story.

"Post WW2, Germany was ‘managed’ by two new international agencies, the IMF and the World Bank, as part of an expanding US-style capitalist empire, while the Soviets were becoming increasingly concerned at the mounting crisis over Berlin, NATO, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a direct warning from Washington. In response, Moscow ramped up its own nuclear programme and the US retaliated by encircling them with military bases armed to the teeth with nuclear aircraft and missiles. Cold War One.

"Russians also remember the promise made by Bush Senior to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand during negotiations for the unification of Germany, but it did, right up to its borders, a major reason why the Russians moved back into the Crimea. And they remember that it was Washington who helped install the drunken fool Boris Yeltsin who encouraged an avalanche of dodgy Western investments and hedge funds to walk in and create a corrupt oligarchy that bled the country dry while Soviet citizens were reduced to poverty.

"But how many Americans know about Washington’s malign influence on foreign elections, at last count more than 81. If Washington doesn’t like the result, it ‘moves in’ and installs some murderous psychopath sympathetic to the Military/Industrial Complex. With a massive $US1 trillion defense budget at its fingertips, it needs an enemy to justify such a grotesque sum, with Russia the constant, at the epicenter, and with other hate figures coming and going according to ‘need’.

"Iran is a useful second fiddle. You would reckon that only the unhinged would contemplate such a potential catastrophe. But not here in Australia in the Land of the Grovel, where we agree with all of Washington’s demands, happy for Pine Gap to play a crucial role in its war games, the most important base outside the United States. In 1975, Pine Gap played a major part in the constitutional coup that ousted the Whitlam Government.

"Julian Assange remains on a knife edge with Ecuadoran President Moreno visiting London with the assumption he is about to cut a deal with British authorities to withdraw his asylum protection. Sweden dropped its sexual assault investigation last year and the only criminal charge is a 2012 arrest warrant for ‘failure to surrender’ to UK’s bail conditions, an offence carrying a prison sentence of up to two years, but UK authorities refuse to give a guarantee that Assange will not be extradited to the US where he will be thrown to the wolves and eaten up. But the Turnbull government couldn’t care less.

"Or about Timor Leste, one of the world’s poorest nations. When an ASIS agent blew the whistle on our government’s illegal bugging of East Timor’s cabinet room to advantage Australia in negotiations over boundaries and oil, ASIS Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery were charged with conspiracy. The case will be held in secret and not allowed to be reported because Australians might be reminded about our shameful behavior towards the tiny struggling nation that sits right on our doorstep.

"There again, whether the case would be reported fairly or reported at all, is far from certain in our shrinking narrowly-based media landscape, which is about to get even more shrunken with Nine Entertainment’s takeover of Fairfax Media. Nine gets 51% of the deal and all the power and Fairfax gets sweet FA. A sell-out by the Fairfax board and a national disgrace. PM Turnbull allowed it to happen, while former PM Paul Keating slammed the sleazy carve-up, declaring Nine had the ‘ethics of an alley cat with no moral compass’. Balanced reporting of current affairs and the news? In your dreams.

"The ‘White Helmets’ are back in the news, darlings of the West extolled as ‘heroes’ and ‘saviours’, when they’re anything but. The name was ‘created’ by a shadowy New York-based PR mob ‘The Syria Campaign’ that was pinched from an Argentinian rescue outfit, the Cascos Blancos. The ‘White Helmets’ are not independent, apolitical or unarmed, but are funded by Western governments and Israel and only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition, mostly Nusa/Al Qaida, sometimes carrying weapons but always celebrating terrorist victories and assisting in executions and always supporting the overthrow of Assad.

"Amongst all the rottenness, some sweet news. A miracle when British divers found all twelve plucky Wild Boar soccer club members and their wonderful coach crouched on a ledge deep inside the flooded cave in Thailand’s north, but the effort to get them out was a truly global operation of courage and co-operation, with Thai’s Navy Seals playing a major role, along with our two locals, Dr Richard Harris who sedated the boys, and vet Craig Challen. All of them true heroes who achieved the impossible. Viva!

"Joan Coxsedge"

Monday, July 30, 2018

`Targeted Murder' anti-war folk song lyrics



An anti-war topical folk song from 2018 that protests against 21st-century U.S. government policy of targeted assassinations, using drones--in violation of international law:
(lyrics)
(chorus)
Targeted Murder
The latest war crime
Targeted Murder
Of civilians who die.

(verses)
Without any trial
Or right to appeal
He was picked for assassination
So they tracked his cellphone
And ordered their drone
To murder in the name of their nation. (chorus)

Oh, say can you see
His dead family
Their bodies now ripped apart?
By the dawn's early light
The drone did ignite
The house where his car was parked. (chorus)

And a wedding party
With many kiddies
Was hit by their drone weaponry
And how many were slain
The White House won't say
If no victims are shown on TV. (chorus)

International law
And the laws of war
Are now broken by their war machine
Summarily,
They kill instantly
And ignore all the family screams. (chorus)