Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy--Conclusion

“Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick…has a history of ethically questionable connections to financial firms…Patrick, who followed Romney as governor of the Bay State, praised Bain in two separate TV appearances on Thursday.

“`I've got a lot of friends there,’ he said on MSNBC's `Morning Joe,` calling Bain `a perfectly fine company’ with `a role to play in the private economy.’…

“Patrick's close relationship with Ameriquest, once one of the largest subprime lenders in the country, was widely criticized during his first campaign for governor in 2006. As head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in the 1990s, he had settled a discriminatory lending complaint against Ameriquest for $4 million -- a relatively small amount for the lender. Patrick later landed on Ameriquest's board, where he made $360,000 a year, according to a report in the Boston Globe. While serving on the board, Patrick personally lobbied the U.S. Senate to grant Ameriquest’s CEO an ambassadorship, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“Patrick -- who has also worked for Coca-Cola and the Ford Foundation -- stayed on the subprime lender's board during the housing bubble from 2004 to 2006, even as the embattled lender began settling several high-profile predatory lending lawsuits. He resigned from Ameriquest's board during his first run for governor, just prior to the company's financial collapse, but not before he asked Citigroup executive and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to provide Ameriquest with emergency financial assistance, according to the Globe. Citigroup acquired Ameriquest in 2008…”

--Zach Carter in The Huntington Post on May 31, 2012

Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy—Conclusion

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

The Ford Foundation's Vice-President for Media in recent years, Alison Bernstein, was an associate dean at Princeton University between 1990 and 1992. But for most of the last twenty years she has been on the Ford Foundation payroll. [A poster to the WBAI Listener's Bulletin Board a few months ago remembered Ford Foundation Vice-President for Media Bernstein as being a family relation of the now-deceased former conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra, Leonard Bernstein; and as someone who, as a college student, claimed to be anti-Establishment in her politics. But the accuracy of the WBAI listener's memory of Alison Bernstein could not be confirmed.]

As the Ford Foundation's Vice-President for Media, Bernstein implements the media policy priorities that are determined by committees of the Ford Foundation board of trustees and authorized by the Ford Foundation president. In the 1990s and early 21st-century the Ford Foundation board of trustees has included two former CEOs and former board chairmen of the Xerox Corporation, the CEO and board chairman of ALCOA, an executive vice-president and general counsel of Coca Cola Company, the chairman and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., the chairman of Reuters Holdings, PLC, the senior partner of the Akin, Gump,Straus Hauser & Feld lobbying firm, and the president of Vassar College. Other corporations with directors who sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees in the late 1990s or after 2000 included Time Warner, Chase Manhattan Bank, Ryder Systems, CBS, AT & T, Adolph Coors Company, Dayton-Hudson, the Bank of England, J.P. Morgan, Marine Midland Bank, Southern California Edison, KRCX Radio, the Central Gas & Electric Corp. DuPont, Citicorp and the New York Stock Exchange. A vice-president and general counsel of Texaco Inc. named Deval Laurdine Patrick [who subsequently was shifted into the governor’s office of Massachusetts in 2007 by the Massachusetts Democratic Party and corporate establishment] has also sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees in recent years.

The Ford Foundation's Board of Trustees' Education, Media, Arts and Culture Committee in the late 1990s, for instance, included the president of Vassar College, the chairman of Reuters Holdings PLC, the former chairman and CEO of Xerox and Clinton crony Vernon Jordan--also a director of Revlon, American Express, J.C. Penney, Sara Lee, Xerox, Bankers Trust, Dow Jones, Union Carbide and Ryder Systems. Clinton crony Jordan also was the chair of the Ford Foundation Board of Trustee's Audit and Management Committee in the late 1990s.

In 2002, the wife of the Bush II White House's presidential historian (Michael Beschloss] sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees. Ford Foundation Trustee Afsaneh Mashayetkhi Beschloss, a former World Bank managing officer, also was the CEO/president of the Carlyle Asset Management Group. President Bush II's father George Herbert Walker Bush, former Secretary of Defense and former Deputy CIA Director Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of State James Baker and Billionaire Speculator George Soros are also involved in the Carlyle Group that Ford Foundation Trustee Mashayetkhi Beschloss managed. The Ford Foundation board-linked Carlyle Group received $1.3 billion in Pentagon war contracts in 1999, was the 11th-largest recipient of Pentagon war contracts in 2000 and invested heavily in war stock.

A former member of the board of directors of Chase Manhattan Bank, Susan Berresford, was the Ford Foundation president in the early 21st century. Ford Foundation President Berresford was also then a member of the North American Committee of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission--sitting next to other U.S. Establishment figures, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Madeline Albright.

Ford Foundation President Berresford was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, to which the Ford Foundation gave a grant of $100,000 "for the development of a Council Task Force on Terrorism" in 2002. Featured on the Council on Foreign Relations web site at on 9/26/02 was an advertisement for "a New Council book," which stated "Invasion Is The Only Realistic Option to Head off the Threat from Iraq, Argues Kenneth Pollack in The Threatening Storm." In recent years, the vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, Carla Hill, has sat on the board of directors of Chevron (as has National Security Affairs Adviser and former Carnegie Corporation of NY Trustee Condoleezza Rice). Other members of the Council on Foreign Relations include former CIA Director John Deutch, former CIA Consultant/MacArthur Foundation Consultant and current Northwestern University President Henry Bienen, Richard Holbrooke, Billionaire Speculator George Soros and former MacArthur Foundation Director Laura D'Andreas Tyson. A few years ago, the Ford Foundation also gave a $701,130 grant to the Council on Foreign Relations for "core support for the activities of the Program on Alternative Future for Southern Asia, its Energy and United States Policy."

In a 2000 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, Trilateral Commission member Susan Berresford gave the official version of how the Ford Foundation operates:

“We have a senior management team that meets every Monday morning in my office...I approve all grants over $100,000. Grants up to $100,000 can be made by staff at various levels. We budget on a two-year basis, and we work with our board...Every grantmaker writes what we call a program office memo. That is ultimately approved by his or her immediate supervisor and then by someone at a vice-presidential program level. Then, all grants that they make under $100,000 pursuant to that memo, they and their immediate supervisors approve. And anything over that needs my approval. We meet every other week for an entire morning; and all the grants over $100,000 that have been recommended in the prior two-week period are on a list and we talk about them.

“I get a write-up on every single grant. There may be 50 on the list, or ten on the list. I read them all, think about them all, and we discuss some of them...The meeting is really a group discussion. I lead it, and I have to put my signature on the grant in the end, but all the officers of the foundation are there, and any program officer or any staff member who wants to attend can attend and participate.

“...We make grants of $1,000 and we make $50 million grants. We make endowment grants and project grants and general support grants...

“It's a policy-making board instead of a grantmaking board...

“In our foundation we draw our board members from all over the world...It makes more sense for the board to set foundation policy.

“They set the budget level and broad allocations...We set our budget at 5.8 percent of a three-year rolling average of our portfolio value. Then, depending on our judgment about the stock market and other things, we may move around a little bit from that...

“We convene groups of our grantees with groups of our staff who make grants to them...

“...Linda Strumpf is the vice president for investment at the foundation. We have an investment committee of the board. They are in touch regularly and Linda and I talk frequently. We all think hard about asset allocation and the broad investment choices we make...In recent years, we have put a significant amount of money into venture capital and a lot of that in technology, and have done very, very well with those investments.

“...We do not, other than in a very few cases, screen investments.

Besides managing the Ford Foundation's multi-billion dollar unscreened investment portfolio and the rest of the Ford Foundation's $10.7 billion in assets, Ford Foundation Vice-President for Investments Linda Strumpf also has been a member of the investment committee of the Ms. Foundation for Women—which has received millions of dollars in grants from the Ford Foundation in recent years. In addition, Ford Foundation Vice-President for Investments Strumpf is a member of the investment committee of Penn State University—which received over $58 million in war research contracts from the Pentagon in 1999. That same year, the "non-profit," tax-exempt Ford Foundation paid Linda Strumpt, its vice-president for investments, an annual salary of $852,911.

In the December 1988 issue of Multinational Monitor, Jim Donahue reported, in an article entitled "The Foundations of Apartheid and The Nuclear Industry," that in 1988, during the apartheid era, the Ford Foundation had $1.32 billion invested in companies doing business in South Africa, accounting for 43 percent of its total investment value at that time. The Multinational Monitor also noted that in 1988, "eighteen million dollars" of the MacArthur Foundation's investments were in apartheid South Africa-tied companies and "the Rockefeller Foundation held $233 million in corporations doing business in or with South Africa" during the apartheid era.

Multinational Monitor also observed in 1988 that "Nuclear Weapons-Linked Investment Corporations that receive government contracts to build components for nuclear weapons are popular among leading foundations" and "the Ford account for 16 percent of Ford's total investment value, or $496 million, with the largest holding being in nuclear-contract-linked IBM and General Electric."

Although the Ford Foundation posts a list of its recent grants on its web site, it's not that easy to locate on the Internet a list of all the current corporate stocks that are currently contained in the Ford Foundation's unscreened stock portfolio. Establishment foundations have a long tradition of not being eager to make it easy for the U.S. public to know which corporate stocks they own. As Ferdinand Lundberg observed in his America’s 60 Families book long ago: "E.C. Lindeman, the outstanding authority on the internal functioning of foundations, states in his monumental Wealth and Culture, published in 1936, that his `first surprise was to discover that those who managed foundations and trusts did not wish to have these instruments investigated. Had it occurred to me then,' he continued, `that it would require eight years of persistent inquiry at a wholly disproportionate cost to disclose even the basic quantitative facts desired, I am sure that the study would have been promptly abandoned."

What can be easily discovered on the Internet is that over $4 billion of the Ford Foundation's $10.7 billion in assets in 2001 was invested in U.S. corporate stock and over $1.3 billion in foreign corporate stock. From its billions of dollars in corporate stockholdings in 2001, the "non-profit" Ford Foundation received $343 million in dividends and interest income and earned an additional capital gains income of $992 million. Yet on its 2001 annual income, the "non-profit" Ford Foundation only paid a 1% excise tax.

But despite the great power that control over such excess wealth gives to Establishment foundations like the Ford Foundation to influence world history and manage social change on behalf of Ultra-Rich power elite interests, the foundation-subsidized alternative media groups rarely report critically on the world of Big Foundations--or on the U.S. Establishment conspiracies that may be hatched in either the foundation, corporate or national security state apparatus boardrooms. Yet without an understanding of the political economic and cultural role that Big Foundations and Ultra-Rich power elite conspiracy plays in global politics, one can't really understand how the System operates or how world history is determined. And one's political and intellectual consciousness and analysis is going to remain incomplete and partial, in a significant way.

In his article, entitled "Getting Behind the Media: What are the subtle tradeoffs of foundation support for journalists?", Rick Edmunds characterized the ethical issues that develops when journalists--even alternative media journalists--begin to rely on subsidies from the Big Foundation to fund their alternative media work:

“In research the Poynter Institute on the rising number, scope, and dollar amounts of foundation grants for journalism, I found that media recipients are becoming ever more comfortable--and perhaps less reflective--about taking the money...When they show up with much-needed funding for an investigative series or pay the freight for a reporter working on an underreported beat, foundations don't receive the same due-diligence scrutiny for hidden subtext that journalists apply to a corporaet press release or a politician's statement. The effect that foundation money may have on the news business is subtle but real, and increasingly troubling on the ethical front...In public television and radio and at certain serious magazines, foundation funding has become a way of life, and grants can run to seven figures...The percentage of public broadcasting revenue coming from foundations has doubled in the past two decades. And in the world of nonprofit media, a few million a year goes a long way...

“...The lack of overt editorial should not blind us to the more subtle, one might say cultural, ties that bind these news organizations to their funders. There are, for example, any number of opportunities for grant makers to shape the editorial product as it is developed...If the foundations' and recipients' goals have been properly `aligned' not much more may be needed to see that the intent is carried out...

“Lost in the benevolent fog that surrounds most foundations is the notion that they may have more of an agenda, not less, than a sponsoring corporation...Cultural affinity can sometimes make it difficult for editors and journalists to draw the distinction between accepting a grant and accepting a funder's point of view...

“National Public Radio is the heavyweight champion in harvesting these grants...Its income is pushing $100 million, about 40 percent of that from corporations and foundations. NPR consistently declines to say what share of the grants that it receives are restricted to specific content areas...Also, for several years, NPR's reporting unit on money and politics has been supported by a grant from the...Schumann Foundation...”

Speaking of the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, a KPFA listener and 9/11 conspiracy journalist recently discovered that its President, Public Affairs TV Inc. Executive Director Bill Moyers, also now sits on the board of directors of Billionaire Speculator George Soros' Open Society Institute. But since the former publisher of the Schumann Foundation-subsidized Columbia Journalism Review, Joan Konner, is both a board member of Open Society Institute board member Moyers' Schumann Foundation and the president of Open Society Institute board member Moyers' Public Affairs TV Inc., don't expect the Columbia Journalism Review to question too much the ethical appropriateness of this Schumann Foundation/Open Society Institute board interlocking directorate. And certainly don't expect too much questioning of such institutional relationships by the Schumann Foundation-subsidized FAIR group or by the Open Society Institute-subsidized Pacifica/Democracy Now! or The Nation/Radio Nation.

And if, by some chance, the Ford Foundation's publicity shield ever gets penetrated in a "parallel left" alternative media world which it has been heavily subsidizing in recent years, it still can move quickly to neutralize any negative publicity—by calling upon a "counter-cultural" public relations firm that used to represent the Pacifica Foundation, called Fenton Communications. In addition to having the Ford Foundation as one of its clients during the 1990s, the Ford Foundation web site now indicates that Fenton Communications was apparently given a $300,000 grant "for communications activities designed to promote informed dialogue in response to the September 11 activity, with an emphasis on protecting civil liberties and preventing discrimination"--by a Ford Foundation on whose board sits the wife of the Bush White House presidential historian.

(conclusion of 2002-written historical article)

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