“…President Obama announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative more than two years ago, because the United States wanted to dramatically increase the number of American students traveling to China…When we launched 100,000 Strong in 2010, we originally envisioned it as a four-year effort. But today, I am proud to announce that the Ford Foundation will provide $1 million in seed funding…that will sustain the work of 100,000 Strong beyond these four years. This is an excellent model; it took our government and our government backing to get 100,000 Strong off the ground, but now we look to our civil society and our private sector to sustain and amplify it. And I want to thank John Fitzgerald, the president of the Ford Foundation in China, for his leadership and commitment to 100,000 Strong, and I want to thank all the companies who have made donations to support the program….”
--U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on May 4, 2012
(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)
Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy—Part 1
In her book The Cultural Cold War, Frances Stoner Saunders recalled how the Ford Foundation collaborated with the CIA in the past--on behalf of the Ultra-Rich families of the U.S. Establishment's power elite--to perpetuate a globalized corporate economic system which denies political, economic and cultural freedom and equality to the majority of humanity:
"Incorporated in 1936, the Ford Foundation was the tax-exempt cream of the vast Ford fortune...The foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe, working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects...On 21 January 1953, Allen Dulles, insecure about his future in the CIA under the newly elected Eisenhower, had met his friend David Rockefeller for lunch. Rockefeller hinted heavily that if Dulles decided to leave the Agency, he could reasonably expect to be invited to become president of the Ford Foundation. Dulles need not have feared for his future...Allen Dulles was to become Director of Central Intelligence.
"The new president of the Ford Foundation was announced shortly after. He was John McCloy...By the time he came to the Ford Foundation, he had been Assistant Secretary of War, president of the World Bank...In 1953 he also became chairman of the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. After John F. Kennedy's assassination, he was a Warren Commission appointee...McCloy took a pragmatic view of the CIA's inevitable interest in the Ford Foundation when he assumed its presidency. Addressing the concerns of some of the foundation's executives, who felt that its reputation for integrity and independence was being undermined by involvement with the CIA, McCloy argued that if they failed to cooperate, the CIA would simply penetrate the foundation quietly by recruiting or inserting staff at lower levels. McCloy's answer to this problem was to create an administrative unit within the Ford Foundation specifically to deal with the CIA. Headed by McCloy and two foundation officers, this three-man committee had to be consulted every time the Agency wanted to use the foundation, either as a pass-through, or as cover. `They would check in with this particular committee, and if it was felt that this was a reasonable thing and would not be against the foundation's long-term interests, then the project would be passed along to the internal staff and other foundation officers (without them) knowing the origins of the proposal,' explained McCloy's biographer, Kai Bird.
"With this arrangement in place, the Ford Foundation became officially engaged as one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for political warfare...The foundation's archives reveal a raft of joint projects. The East European Fund, a CIA front in which George Kennan played a prominent role, got most of its money from the Ford Foundation...The foundation gave $500,000 to Bill Casey's International Rescue Committee [of which Nation editor Vanden Heuvel's father was also an official], and substantial grants to another CIA front, the World Assembly of Youth. It was also one of the single largest donors to the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent think-tank which exerted enormous influence on American foreign policy, and which operated (and continues to operate) according to strict confidentiality rules which include a twenty-five-year embargo on the release of its records...
"McGeorge Bundy, became president of the Ford Foundation in 1966 (coming straight from his job as Special Assistant to the President in Charge of National Security, which meant, among other things, monitoring the CIA)...The Congress for Cultural Freedom...was one of Ford Foundation's largest grantees, receiving $7 million by the early 1960s..."
The Cultural Cold War book also recalled how the money from the J.M. Kaplan family (some of which has been thrown towards Pacifica/Democracy Now! in recent years) was used in the past by the CIA:
"In 1956...J.M. Kaplan, president of the Welch Grape Juice Company, and president and treasurer of the Kaplan Foundation (assets: $14 million), wrote to Allen Dulles offering his services...Dulles subsequently arranged for a CIA `representative' to make an appointment with Kaplan. The Kaplan Foundation could soon be counted as an asset, a reliable `pass-through' for secret funds earmarked for CIA projects, amongst them the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and an institute headed by veteran socialist and chairman of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, Norman Thomas.
"The use of philanthropic foundations was the most convenient way to pass large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source. By the mid-1950s, the CIA's intrusion into the foundation field was massive. Although figures are not available for this period, the general counsel of a 1952 Congress committee appointed to investigate US foundations concluded that `An unparalleled amount of power is concentrated increasingly in the hands of an interlocking and self-perpetuating group. Unlike the power of corporate management, it is unchecked by stockholders; unlike the power of government, it is unchecked by the people; unlike the power of the churches, it is unchecked by any firmly established canons of value.' In 1976, a Select Committee appointed to investigate US intelligence activities reported on the CIA's penetration of the foundation field by the mid-1960s: during 1963-6, of the 700 grants over $10,000 given by 164 foundations, at least 108 involved partial or complete CIA funding. More importantly, CIA funding was involved in nearly half the grants made by these 164 foundations in the field of international activities during the same period.
"`Bona fide' foundations such as Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie were considered `the best and most plausible kind of funding cover.' A CIA study of 1966 argued that this technique was `particularly effective for democratically run membership organizations, which need to assure their own unwitting members and collaborators, as well as their hostile critics, that they have genuine, respectable, private sources of income.' Certainly, it allowed the CIA to fund`a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses, and other private institutions from the early 1950s."
Among the liberal-left Establishment anti-war folks sponsored by the Ford Foundation during the 1960s was a former head of the CIA-subsidized National Student Association [NSA] named Allard Lowenstein (who was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in 1980 by Dennis Sweeney). According to the 1985 book The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and The Liberal Dream by Richard Cummings:
"Students followed Lowenstein in his quest for a just and peaceful world. But they did not know that his deep sense of patriotism and intense anti-Communism led him to work for the CIA in Africa and Spain and to inform on suspected Communists in the civil rights movement...In 1962...according to sources with background in intelligence work, he was formally recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. Although the author's attempts to obtain Lowenstein's CIA file under the Freedom of Information-Privacy Act from the CIA and from his lawyer Gary Bellow proved unavailing, other evidence overwhelmingly supports these sources...Lowenstein's work in the CIA involved southern Africa, and because Franco supported Portugal and South Africa, it also involved Spain, where Lowenstein worked with the anti-Communist left opposed to Franco...Lowenstein came to believe that his greatest enemies were to his left...
"According to sources, Lowenstein was separated from the CIA sometime in 1967 (the sources say Lowenstein `was in the agency from 1962 to 1967')...During 1975, Lowenstein became deeply involved in the politics of Portugal because of his relationship with Portugese Socialist Mario Soares, who was foreign minister at a period when the Portugese revolution was pushing increasingly leftward. Involving Lowenstein was his friend Frank Carlucci, who served as U.S. ambassador to Portugal from 1975 to 1978 and then as Jimmy Carter's deputy director of the CIA...
"To further supplement his income, Lowenstein was to work for the Ford Foundation, a consultancy having been arranged for him by a friend...Lowenstein's job with the Ford Foundation, which, according to his diary, included a $2,500 fee, all expenses, and freedom to decide when and where he would work (an NSA grant had been approved as well), enabled him to fly to various campuses, study the causes of the unrest, and prepare a report. He particularly focused on Berkeley where President Martin Meyerson attempted to use Lowenstein as a peacemaker...A new generation of student leaders was now openly challenging authority in more extreme ways than Lowenstein had...Their rebellion was growing beyond the confines of the liberal National Student Association, which Lowenstein had continued to monitor. It was taking dangerous and unpredictable forms...On April 1, 1965, Paul Ylvisaker, the director of the Ford Foundation project on campus unrest, wrote to Lowenstein: `This will confirm the arrangements made with Mr. John Ehle for you to serve as a consultant to the Foundation for a maximum of five days between April 1 and 9 to explore the possibility of involving youth and student groups in community action programs. We understand you will make brief visits in institutions in North Carolina, Massachusetts, California and New York. "`The Foundation will provide a daily fee of $50 and reimbursement for first-class round-trip air transportation to your destinations. Enclosed you will find expense report forms and certificates of time worked, which we would appreciate your filling out, signing and returning to us. Please send your transportation stubs and hotel bills, and receipts for expenses of $25 or more.'"
Former Ford Foundation Consultant Lowenstein's friend, Carlucci, later became the Secretary of Defense under Reagan and has been a top executive at the Bush II White House and Ford Foundation Board of Trustees-linked Carlyle Assets firm in recent years. In her 1982 book Rooted In Secrecy: The Clandestine Element In Australian Politics by Joan Coxsedge noted that "the Ford Foundation" also "took over the funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom after its CIA cover was blown in 1966."
Eric Chester's book Covert Networks: Progressives, The International Rescue Committee and The CIA also contains some information about how the Ford Foundation has historically worked with the CIA:
"The Ford Foundation...maintained a close and continuing relationship with the intelligence community throughout the most confrontational years of the Cold War.
"In particular, the Foundation established in 1951 a subsidiary affiliate, the East European Fund, which disbursed its considerable resources to projects oriented toward political exiles from the Soviet Union. Over the next few years, the Foundation and its affiliated fund worked closely with other organizations within the covert network, including the International Rescue Committee...
"The New York office was headed by Bernard Gladieux...After shifting to the Ford Foundation in 1950, Gladieux remained a committed proponent of psychological warfare programs targeted at the Soviet bloc countries. He continued to maintain contacts with high officials in the Agency; while an officer of the Foundation, he also `served in a consultant and liaison capacity with the Central Intelligence Agency involving certain highly sensitive matters.' Soon after being appointed director of Central Intelligence in February 1953, Allen Dulles reassured Gladieux that he had been kept `fully-advised of recent developments' and that he wanted `to work closely with' Gladieux in the future.
"Within the New York office, John Howard had primary responsibility for screening overseas grant proposals. This meant that Howard was a key liasion between the Foundation and the CIA...
"[On March 5, 1958] Don Price...an associate director of the Foundation, wrote Matthew Baird of the CIA to set up a discussion on `potential ideas for future action.' Joining Price would be John Howard, still a central figure in the oversight of overseas programs. Baird responded by inviting Price and Howard to a meeting at CIA headquarters with `40 or 50 Agency representatives' from the Clandestine Services Division. The agenda would feature a presentation by Price and Howard in which they would `discuss informally those programs of the Foundation' that they felt would `be of general interest to the Agency.' Afterward, the Ford Foundation officials would meet with smaller groups of CIA staff to discuss specific projects.
"The CIA and the Ford Foundation maintained close relations throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s...
"Although the full extent of the Ford Foundation's cooperation with the CIA over the last three decades cannot be determined as long as the relevant files remain closed or unavailable, it is clear that the Foundation worked closely with the intelligence community on several sensitive operations during the 1950s..."
According to Chester's 1995 Covert Networks book, a Ford Foundation grant of $150,000 was apparently used during the 1950s to subsidize the activity of a right-wing anti-communist paramilitary group, the "Fighting Group" in East Germany:
"The Ford Foundation was interested in funding the activities of the Fighting Group from the start...Having approached top Agency officials, Howard and Gladieux, of the New York office, concluded that `CIA officials were unanimous in their view that Foundation support of the Fighting Group would be most helpful...Fighting Group commandos blew up a railroad bridge near Berlin just before an express train coming from Warsaw was due to pass over it...A bridge over a canal was damaged with explosives..."
The same book also noted how the IRC board member that Nation editor Vanden Heuvel's father apparently worked for, William Donovan, apparently also intervened in 1950s German domestic politics:
"The [International Rescue] Committee established a special Redefection Commission in February 1956, with William Donovan, IRC board member...as chair...Donovan and the rest of the commission immediately embarked on an inspection tour of West German and France...Donovan was utilizing the trip as a cover for a covert mission to provide funds for cooperative politicians...While visiting West Berlin, Donovan arranged to have couriers give [former West German Chancellor Willy] Brandt one hundred thousand Deutschmarks in cash at a clandestine rendezvous. The cash drop, worth twenty-five thousand dollars at the time, was employed by Brandt to strengthen his position within the Social Democratic Party."
(end of part 1 of 2002-written historical article)