This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Violence Against Police

Police looking for person in police shootings

I'm not happy about this. Four cops were murdered in a donut shop. This is my speculative opinion. Maybe if the police weren't so often breaking the law themselves and getting away with it, things like this wouldn't happen. There isn't this kind of animosity towards police in many other countries. There are places where cops don't even carry guns and are looked on as decent citizens. The police need to clean up their act. They don't deserve to be murdered. Yet, they need to cut the shite in regards to police brutality, tasering, and other nonsense that most people are aware goes on. I'm not saying every cop is bad news. Perhaps even the majority of them are decent people. But too many of them do act like dogs with rabies. Stop acting like pigs, and people will stop making bacon and donut jokes. Be heroes like the firemen and women, and I think this type of tragedy is much less likely to take place.

Here is a story from 2006 which supports my thesis that cops who act like pigs develop an atmosphere which is more conducive to having violent people return the offer.

Police proudly disperse peaceful "roaches" with rubber bullets by Reason Engaged

Maybe I should start keeping track of events by which Amendment they break. File this one under the First. A woman is at a peaceful protest against, of all things, totalitarianism in the US:
(link to ABC News)

Videotaped footage of the protests shows Ritter standing next to a police officer using a bullhorn to announce that the protests would be permitted to continue as long as they remained peaceful.

Ritter is later seen on the tape walking away from a line of officers when she is apparently shot in the leg with a rubber bullet.

She then turns toward the officers and asks, "Did you shoot me? A lady in a suit? Who has been walking peaceably in front of you for half an hour and you shot me when my back was turned?"

Ritter turns to a crowd of protesters and says, "Well, you all saw it. They have been watching me for a half hour. They know I'm not armed." At the request of a photographer, she displays for the camera a fresh welt on the back of her leg, where it appears she has just been shot by a rubber bullet.

An audible barrage of rubber-bullet fire follows, as protesters are heard screaming in fear and pain, and yelling at officers, "What the [expletive] was that? Why did you do that to us?"

The camera then finds Ritter again, crouched alone in the street under her sign as rubber bullets continue to fly around her. She said a rubber bullet pierced her foam-board sign and struck her forehead.

A civilian review board investigated law enforcement response to the protests and found no criminal misconduct.
[or course]

In a bizarre turn of events, someone videotaped the police watching the video of the woman being shot:

"The lady in the red dress," Kallman says on the tape, to cheers and laughter. "I don't know who got her, but it went right through the sign and hit her smack dab in the middle of the head." Another officer can be heard off-camera, asking, "Do I get a piece of her red dress?" Ritter said the tape had completely changed her take on what had happened to her that day.

Not only are they not sorry for what they did, they think it was hilarious, and referred to the crowd as “roaches”.

Feel good about your right to peaceably assemble and express free speech?

Authoritarianism - Woman Shot In Face By Police

21 year old Victoria Snelgrove was killed in 2004 by a rubber bullet. Her crime was being a Red Sox fan at the wrong place at the wrong time. And the police wonder why most human beings have little respect for them?

What is wrong with these people? Why would anyone taser a 72 year old woman?

Dashcam Video of Grandma Being Tased

Police suicide rates are very high. Hmmm. I wonder why. Perhaps it has to do with the realisation that the enemy is quite often themselves. It's human nature to not want to be a creep. They went into the thing thinking they were going to be heroes. How'd that turn out for them?

Kos Exposed at OpenLeft

This is one of those we'll have to wait and see if it is censored. I haven't a clue. I do know that this Chris Bowers dude who seems to run Open Left banned Francis Holland from MyDD for exposing Daily Kos. So who knows. I have had this account for a while, but this was my first post. Ironically, I found out about this diary on bannings through a historic troll known as DavidByron, who word has it is the most banned poster in blogosphere history. That's usually going to be the case for sexist "progressives" who call for the destruction of Israel.

Here's the problem

Friday, November 20, 2009

Al Giordano of Narco News may have a Credibility Problem

He didn't appreciate my last entry. He took the time to make a comment. Here it is with my response. There is also a blogger TLNL who is the type Al needs to worry about. When I first informed him of Giordano's ties to military, CIA, and fake peace activists, he said as far as he knew, Al Giordano and Narco News were solid. Within minutes, TLNL knew there was something to this. He had seen it before. He only didn't know that Giordano and Narco News has a strong connection to it. I will cross-post his stuff from the-last-blog-left.blogspot. You see good people, Al wants folks to think this is all nothing, just more tinfoil. It isn't. Not even close. I don't deal with aluminum products. When one has been academically trained and is intellectually honest, there is no need to run from any controversy. I make no money from blogging and speak truth to power. Al Giordano appears to be tied to some deep doodoo.

Al Giordano Frothed and I Responded. Al's words are in italics. My responses are in bold.

Wow. These are some paranoid ravings.

Can you be more specific? It appears a raw nerve has been hit. What from the above entry do you dispute or can show are "paranoid ravings?"

We've done more work exposing and denouncing the CIA the past ten years on Narco News than trolls like the ones cited here have ever done or will ever do.

As I asked a second ago, what parts of this entry do you contend are false? Who is a troll and why? Are you aware of Markos Moulitsas' claims from a 2006 Commonwealth Club interview? He said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for. He said he applied for a six-month process in 2001. He said he decided to work for the Dean campaign instead of taking an offer to be a clandestine spy. How does a six-month process start in 2001 and end in 2003? You have had glowing words for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Kos has been running interference for the CIA's activities in El Salvador. He speaks of having to step over dead bodies killed by guerrillas. He has never mentioned the right wing death squads once. Your support for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga doesn't make yourself look sincere in regards to covering the CIA.

The suggestion that contributions to our work (and especially one that is matched by hundreds of small donors that support authentic journalism) would in any way change what we do is absurd (and the writer hasn't offered a shred of evidence anyway).

So you have no qualms taking money from people affiliated with the military and CIA. Your defense is that they do not influence your journalism. That is tough to accept. I admit that I don't know much about your work. I'm not a troll. But if you think these ties to Duvall, Ackerman, Moulitsas, and Woolsey aren't disturbing, you're being incredibly naive.

I invite all two or three readers here to check out our work:

That's an odd comment. If there are only two or three readers of this blog, then why did you bother to respond, and why haven't you offered barely more than ad hominems as your defense? You're going to tell the world that peace activists with ties to the military and CIA shouldn't raise eyebrows?

And if there are only two or three readers, then you make three or four. You must be perusing those search engines quite often or someone is giving you the heads up whenever something critical is written about you. I have provided some specifics in my post here. We shall see if you have the gonads to address Moulitsas' man crush for the CIA. We'll see if you can explain further how taking matching funds from CIA and military affiliated people is normal operating procedure for groups devoted to promoting authentic world peace.

Then you can judge for yourself who are the authentic workers against imperialism and injustice, and who are merely the leftier-than-thou posers.


Al Giordano
Publisher, Narco News

Thanks for posting. I have comments on moderation, but I won't censor you. I only do that to keep out spam. Thanks for verifying that those ties are factual. Regards to Duvall, Ackerman, Moulitsas, and their CIA buddy Woolsey. I am a true peacenik nobody. I would never support the CIA. Maybe you are a good guy and will figure out that this doesn't look right. You are proud of denouncing and exposing the CIA, yet these awkward ties that can be made between yourself and the CIA are unsettling. Are you unaware of Moulitsas' ties to the CIA? What about the Arlington Institute being co-founded by Duvall and the former head of the CIA? I'd be able to take you more at face value if you admitted this looks pretty bad on the surface, etc. and so forth. But noooooo, you went the evoking of authority and ad hominem route. We're talking about the former head of the CIA! Talk about a conflict of interest. This is like Reagan making deals with Iran to benefit the Contras. You accept funds that can be tied to the group you are so proud of having denounced and exposed.

I like to post at a place called the-last-blog-left.blogspot. Myself and TLNL have shared interests and perspectives on internet personalities such as Mike Rivero, Tinoire, and BradBlog. We are also regular dude lefties. We are the kind of"leftier-than-thou posers" Al Giordano is referring to. But here's the deal. When I first informed TLNL of my new find, he said hold up, that Al and Narco News is good stuff. But then he looked into it. Al needs to settle the fock down and realise he certainly does now have a credibility problem. The rest of this entry was originally posted at TLBL. Most of the following was written by The Last Name Left. What isn't written by him will show my username instead.

socrates: TLNL, this dude Al from Narco News showed up at DFQ2. I think I done good. If you're into it, you might have an opportunity to ask a semi-famous/important internet journalist some questions. Or maybe he will run away liked a scared, little baby. I was in rare form in responding to him. :)

TLNL: Al Giordano? Narco news Network?

SFAIK he's cool. He took a few "liberal" US journos in venezuelans to task for posing as liberals whilst seemingly being close to the business/upper class elites and passing off disinfo against Chavez.

I haven't read your link yet, but I imagine he's a possible candidate to gain some interest and traction with.......

Hmm. Interesting.


There's been plenty of reports about the US destablisation campaign in Venezuela........a lot of it leading back to presidential candidate John McCain, via IRI, NED, USAID, etc.

And Freedom House. Which is Peter Ackerman, seemingly close associate of Duvall.......seeming funder for Al Giordano and NarcoNews.

Crikey! I don't think that's a trail that can be simply shrugged off.

Here's a little bit about Freedom House, IRI, NED, USAID connections: is not well known that Freedom House is a major recipient of U.S. government funding—directly from USAID or through the government-funded NED.

Relying almost exclusively on government funding for its overseas operations, Freedom House says it works "directly with democratic reformers on the front lines in their own countries" in Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, the former Soviet Union, and the Balkans. According to Freedom House, its overseas activity "acts as a catalyst for freedom by strengthening civil society, promoting open government, defending human rights, and facilitating the free flow of information."

With USAID funding, Freedom House sponsors a "Human Rights Defenders" program in Venezuela that it promotes as "facilitat[ing] the interaction of Venezuelan civil society with counterparts in Latin America to help them improve domestic human rights reporting and to expand protections for human rights." The "longer-term goal," says Freedom House, is "to assist groups who will strive to safeguard and improve the functioning of democratic institutions in Venezuela."

In May 2007, Eva Golinger, Venezuelan-American author of The Chávez Code and a prominent critic of U.S. aid programs in Venezuela, accused Freedom House and other U.S. organizations receiving U.S. government funding of orchestrating a "destabilization plan" (see, May 26, 2007). Golinger claimed Freedom House was designing a campaign of nonviolent resistance to the Chávez government.

---I looked into all this whilst arguing about Venezuelan coup and all that. There's a whole slew of interesting connections - an alphabet soup of those supposedly working "to enhance democracy" whilst being in the pay of groups led by people such as John "the socialist" McCain!

Might be worth me digging it up again..... :)

Anyway - see if I have this straight?

Al Giordano/Narco News have a revenue stream from the Paul Ackerman funded ICNC......

Ackerman is a major dude at Freedom House.....which has been accused of working to undermine Venezuela's Chavez regime through funding by US State Department, USAID, NED, IRI, etc.......the same nexus behind the dubious "colour revolutions" in Ukraine, Serbia etc.

Hmmm. Hardly paranoid to find that "interesting". :)

TLNL: So........ok.....Giordano isn't denying the connections, he is just saying any money NarcoNews receives from such connections has no influence on what Giordano and NarcoNews write and publish?

Good defence - how in hell could anyone prove the money influenced Giordano and NArcoNews?

But it is hardly whiter-than-white, is it?

Whilst the money might come from the ICNC, which claims to receive no government funding etc, their money has all come from Ackerman whom is running around as chief of Freedom House which is funded by USAID, NED, etc.

Those are the hallmarks of a political money-laundering scheme - where the funding is "cleaned" via third parties.

This is the known tactic and method used by NED, USAID, IRI......

I'd ask him if he doesn't feel uncomfortable about it. It's surely the sort of thing NarcoNews would find interesting and somewhat questionable about not about NarcoNews? ......

TLNL: Earlier this year Al Giordano wrote about the 'new' Obama stance on Venezuela -

This newly-stated respect for Venezuela's internal governance marks a clear break from previous US policy that regularly sought to meddle in the country's democratic affairs.

But semingly NarcoNews has a source of funding which is itself entirely provided by a bigwig in the same organisations which were accused of the "meddling in Venezuela's democratic affairs" which Giordano references.

There certainly seems to be potential for conflict of interest there.

And certainly a relevant one, considering Giordano's own subject matter. For example, this stuff about Eric Ekvall, and reporter Phil Gunson which I referred to earlier.


TLNL: This is from some dude who wrote a book about use of agencies promoting democracy as being pro-capitalist fronts to maintain status quo, further imperialism, undermine democracy etc:

it explains the method and rationale..... but also clearly suggests why it's troublesome that Al Giordano should be getting funding from Freedom House connections.

US political intervention under the banner of “democracy promotion” is aimed at undermining authentic democracy, gaining control over popular movements for democratisation, keeping a lid on popular democracy movements, and limiting any change that may be brought about by mass democratisation movements so that the outcomes of democracy struggles do not threaten the elite order and integration into global capitalism.

If democracy means the power of the people, mass participation in the vital decisions of society, and democratic distribution of material and cultural resources, then democracy is a profound threat to global capitalist interests and must be mercilessly opposed and suppressed by US and transnational elites.

What is new about the strategy of “democracy promotion” is that this opposition and suppression is now conducted under the rhetorical banner of promoting democracy and through sophisticated new instruments and modalities of political intervention.

Many US organisations are involved in Venezuela -- including the National Endowment of Democracy and its sub-foundations, the International Republican Institute, the Centre for international Private Enterprise, and the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Centre; the NDI and IRI have offices in Caracas. These groups -- along with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and a private company on contract from USAID called Development Alternatives International -- are funding Venezuela’s political opposition.


socrates: Just look at Moulitsas. He has portrayed himself as a leading progressive. There is next to nothing on his history. But then it slipped out that he respects the CIA and almost became a spy. Just that little opening made the difference. Al Giordano needs to come clean. This is a pivotal moment in his life. I am not turning this into drama. It is what it is. He's protraying himself and Narco News as being at the forefront of exposing the CIA. Yet one of Duvall's partners was the head of the CIA. An analogy could be with Friedman and Kimberlin, who are small potatoes compared to guys like Ackerman and then it gets into Chavez and the coloured revolution concept as a guise for continued imperialism. Yikes, I'm definitely rambling. But I'm saying Giordano could be Friedman while Ackerman would be Kimberlin. We will never see the big cheeses behind the productions show up on our humble blogs. We won't find them available at places like Huffington and the Guardian. But guys like Friedman and Giordano are there. Then there's that lower tier protecting Friedman like Agent99 and Big Dan. And then there are the few like us who are saying wait a minute. Anyway, I am willing to give Al Giordano the benefit of the doubt, but it's very difficult to do so now, not after what he wrote. I smell fear. He's acting like he's like Gandhi being a vegetarian who wears leather shoes, that he doesn't eat the meat, but he wants warm feet. If Giordano can't address these connections, if he can't be real and admit they must look dodgy on the surface, I'm not sure how anyone can trust his motives. Or maybe he is just protecting his career and is in some kind of self-enforced cognitive dissonance. Hey, we are at the low rung of the blogging pecking order, but we still take the time to be devil advocates of ourselves. I'd rather face the truth if I make a big blunder. It's not that easy, however to do so, when I get banned from so many places or trolled on and get isolated and have no one watching my back. But for real, I think the bulk of work people like us do must enable the objective reader to understand we aren't making stuff up, that we're not simply pulling lint out of our belly buttons. People can track down our links, check out screenshots, read our attempts at clarifying to the best of our abilities. I want to see that same effort out of Al from Narco News. If he's just going to pass me off as having two or three readers and I'm paranoid, well, he might as well have never written to my blog.

TLNL: "Freedom House - the grandfather of neo-conservative 'democracy promoting' organisations"

it is not surprising that most of ICNC’s principals of nonviolence were trained within the heart of the military-industrial complex: ICNC Vice-chair Berel Rodal, was formerly Director-General of the Policy Secretariat in the Department of National Defence; ICNC Manager of Educational Initiatives, Dr. Maria J. Stephan, has worked “at the U.S. Department of Defense and with the international staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels”; and Shaazka Beyerle (former vice-president turned Senior Advisor of ICNC), is a founding Vice President of the European Institute.

The European Institute’s most interesting affliates include: board member Dr R. Michael Gadbaw, who is a director of the NED/USIP funded Partners for Democratic Change; Director Emeriti, Robert B. Zoellick, who was a signatory of the January 26, 1998 Project for the New American Century letter sent to President Clinton; and Advisory Board member, Ambassador Robert E. Hunter, who is also Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies and acts as a Senior International Consultant to the largest arms manufacturer in the world, Lockheed Martin. [11]



NED - IRI - USAID - John McCain - Venezuela - "promoting democracy"

I have a load of stuff on ties between NED and IRI backed groups leading right up to Carmona who was installed as "president" in the Ven coup.

I don't remember Ackerman or Duvall showing up in it, but, how far away from it can they be? Everything suggests they would be wrapped up in....and Al Giordano is taking money from them (sometimes?).



i was reminded of something whilst looking for old stuff on this --

isn't it amazing that all these groups (promoting "capitalism" and "freemarkets" and US imperialism etc) are all funded by the US taxpayer?


they might at least pay for capitalist agitation out of their own money rather than bilking the state and taxpayers for it!

They charge the taxpayer for funds so that they can roll-back the state? y - right. Nothing wrong in state subsidies for rightwing pressure groups......? lol

socrates: There was some kind of glitch going on with the comments at DFQ2. But I think it's now solved, knock on wood. What I'll do is copy and paste your material and anything else you come up with to a new entry. I'll put up Al's comment and my response. I want to make sure Giordano doesn't get away with his shallow cover story. If he can't at least admit it looks bad, how can he be trusted? It'd be like if Obama had been accepting contributions from Karl Rove and other Republicans. Or if a group formed to fight domestic terrorism was started by someone who had set bombs leading to a man's suicide. Oh, wait a second. Yikers. Or Crikey. Or whatever the word is.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fake Peace Activism Tied To The Military and CIA

This won't be the most coherent entry. Apologies in advance. The following only recently came to my attention through reading an obscure blogger named Stu Piddy. He posted most of the following links and connections. There is a group of people and institutions who are posing as activists promoting velvet revolutions, those that are non-violent. On the surface it seems like a noble cause. But a closer look shows their intentions are actually insidious. A side story is that one of the founders of this cause has had glowing words for Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos. Seeing how Markos has called the CIA a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for, there is further albeit circumstantial evidence that Moulitsas has been running a fifth column blog.

I have eight links to provide.

Link #1:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

Narco News and Al Giordano run something called The School of Authentic Journalism. This is a donation page. Matching support of up to $20,000 per contribution is made by International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. This appears to be a classic example of right co-opting left. We can intuit this through taking a closer look at the ICNC.

Link #2:
The ICNC- Who We Are

JACK DUVALL, President
DR. PETER ACKERMAN, Founding Chair

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is an independent, nonprofit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies to establish and defend human rights, democracy and justice worldwide. It accepts no grants, contracts or funding of any kind from any government or government-related organization or from any other foundation, corporation or institution. It is funded entirely by the family philanthropy of the founding chair.

Ok, Mr. Peter Ackerman is providing the entire funding. He must be filthy rich. Maybe we need to know who this guy is along with Jack Duvall. Let's start with Duvall.

Link #3:
Who the hell is Jack Duvall? by Jacob Levich

If anyone knows the real story behind Jack Duvall and his International
Center for Nonviolent Conflict, I'd be extremely grateful to hear it.

This guy, who purports to be some kind of pacifist, travels around the world with a dog-and-pony show centering on movies he's produced called "Bringing Down a Dictator" and "A Force More Powerful." His current position on Iraq, which he is selling heavily to college and university crowds, is that the peace movement has no right to oppose the invasion unless it offers an alternative way of getting rid of Saddam. (His suggestion -- don't laugh -- is that the Iraqi people should be encouraged to rise up in a Gandhi-style nonviolent mass movement.)

So far as I can tell, he intervenes whenever the US wants to bring down a government by military force, attempting to refocus any First World opposition away from opposing imperialism and toward "bringing down dictators by non violent means."

I suspect Jack Duvall is a fraud and possibly some kind of spook (see weird career details below) whose aim is to divide the antiwar movement.

The other day, unbidden, he sent a nasty little email screed to the mailing list of the campus antiwar group I belong to. It attacked ANSWER as a tool of Iraqi government propaganda. I won't bore you with further details of the ensuing email exchange, but suffice it to say he seems on the brink of achieving exactly what he desires -- driving a wedge between campus pacifists and leftists. The students who had seen his very slick presentation, it seems, were swept off their feet and reacted furiously to our attempts to criticize him.

Turns out his background is very odd for a "pacifist."

He's a TV producer and PR flack, and a member of the Washington establishment who:

* served in Air Force counterintelligence(!)
* worked in the Nixon White House
* wrote speeches for major-party Presidential campaigns, and
* raised money for warmaker Bill Clinton and Homeland Security architect Gary Hart.

Moreover, Duvall is currently a director of a consulting business called The Arlington Institute (, which does weird "scenario building" for business and government clients. An excerpt from their site:

"Some of our clients want to know about the future of their marketplace, or a major contributing factor to their operating environment, like technology. Others are concerned about possible big surprise events - wild cards - that might blow in unexpectedly and fundamentally shift the status quo. Perhaps your concern is a geographic area - like Africa, or you are considering the purchase of a major asset and want to have a sense of what might change the present situation that makes that a good decision -- all of these are good candidates for scenario planning."

This suggests Arlington is in the business of helping its clients predict and defend against political events and popular movements that might harm their investments.

Most tellingly, here's a list of Arlington's clients:

U.S. Navy
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Coast Guard
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Andersen Consulting
New Directions for News
Project Voyager / OneCosmos

What kind of pacifist sits on the board of directors of a company that does consulting work for the Department of Defense and four branches of the US Military?

Again, if anyone knows the story behind this guy (or knows someone who does) please send word fast. If someone could get a reading from Dellinger that would be helpful -- I suspect his view would mean a lot to the pacifist students.


The CIA is mentioned in this blog entry's title. Here is that connection.

Link #4
A Force More Powerful:
Promoting 'Democracy' through Civil Disobedience by Michael Barker

In 1989, Dr Ackerman's coauthor Jack Duvall helped found another notable non-profit 'democracy promoting' research center, the Arlington Institute. Like many of the people involved in the previous 'democratic' groups the main person behind this venture, John L. Petersen, is a military man through and through, [17] and the center boasts amongst its cofounders former head of the CIA, James Woolsey. [18] Furthermore, the Arlington Institute's website notes that they specialize 'in thinking about global futures and trying to influence rapid, positive change', which ties in neatly with Jonathan Mowat's description of the Arlington Institute as strategists for the new postmodern coup. [19]

This blog was created in honour of Dave Weintraub who did a lot of good work in exposing Markos Moulitsas. Here is the Kos connection. Above Al Giordano of Narco News was mentioned. This is what he has had to say about the CIA loving founder of Daily Kos. I realise that this and other connections could be seen as guilt by association. But my thinking is that is a strawman argument. If we are what we eat, then we can also be said to be part and parcel of those we associate with. How does one separate Brad Friedman from the Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin? How can Michael Rivero separate himself from Curtis Maynard, Alex Jones and the Birdman? How can Patrick Minnis of NASA separate himself from the founder of Chemtrail Central? How can Tinoire of Progressive Independent separate herself from military intelligence? I could go on. But you get the point.

Link #5:
Kos And Alinsky And Election 2008 by Stephen C. Rose'

In a lengthy review of Taking On The System, coming out tomorrow, Al Giordano commends the new book's author, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of the influential lefty blog Daily Kos, as "our era's very own Saul Alinsky" and calls the his work "the must-read political book of the year."

Let's get back to discussing the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Why is this important? This is how Michael Barker puts it.

Link #6
Peace Activists, Criticism, and Nonviolent Imperialism

Paradoxically, one of the main problems of liberal foundations is not that they have colluded with the Central Intelligence Agency, or have and continue to support the work of elite planning groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, but rather that they support all manner of progressive causes -- as a quick perusal of their annual reports (pdf) will demonstrate. Most progressive groups only receive a small proportion of their funding from liberal foundations, but, as many of these groups are regularly on the brink of financial bankruptcy, the money that is distributed by liberal philanthropists is much sought after and has formidable (if rarely acknowledged) influence -- even when there are 'no strings attached' to the funding -- on the contours of civil society.

Earlier criticisms of liberal foundations appear to have simply washed off their backs. However, in the past few years a groundswell of new activists and researchers are openly questioning the antidemocratic nature of liberal philanthropy, so now is the perfect time for activists, all over the world, to really get to the bottom of the funding/activism nexus: only then can concerned people start to create and sustain grassroots movements that will be able to truly challenge capitalism and successfully promote peace.

Peter Ackerman, whose family philanthropy is behind the ICNC, is also the head of something called Freedom House. Stephen Gowans claims that it is a "CIA-interlocked think-tank." He cites Chomsky in the footnote as the basis for this factoid. The following is from an article concerning the recent democratic upheaval in Iran. Wow. There is so much to social reality. There are so many complexities. This is how propagandists get away with their shenanigans. Now I am unsure what has really been going on in Iran the last year. My gut told me a we the people campaign was taking ascent there. I saw those who belittled that movement as being a part of the Joos Own The World crowd. And of course many of those bloggers are part of that bullshite. However, the following by Gowans is certainly a big plate of food for thought. (excerpt)

Link #7:
War and Terror: The US' attempted color revolution in Iran

As the head of Freedom House, a CIA-interlocked think-tank [1] that promotes free markets, free enterprise and free trade, Peter Ackerman has been at the forefront of efforts to topple foreign governments that place more emphasis on promoting the welfare of their citizens (and often their own bourgeoisie) than providing export and investment opportunities to US corporations, banks, and investors.

An ex-Wall Street investment banker who was once junk bond trader Michael Milken's right-hand man, Ackerman's speciality these days is regime change civil disobedience –training activists in the use of civil disobedience destabilization techniques to bring down foreign governments.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-Wall Street insiders' group that brings together corporate CEOs and lawyers, scholars, and government and military officials to recommend foreign policy positions to the US State Department, Ackerman also heads the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC). Working in parallel with billionaire financier George Soros' Open Society Institute, the ICNC deploys civil disobedience specialists to teach "activists how to agitate for change against" governments on Washington's regime change hit list, "going everywhere from Eastern Europe to train Belarusians to Turkey to coach Iranians." [2]

Ackerman and other civil disobedience imperialists, like Stephen Zunes, a self-styled progressive who acts as chief apologist for Ackerman among leftists who have romantic illusions about popular uprisings, [3] give their efforts to topple foreign governments the deceptively reassuring name "democracy promotion." Democracy promotion, a Bush administration official once said, is a rubric to get people to support regime change without saying the words. [4] Zunes has also sprung to the defense of Gene Sharp, the head of the Albert Einstein Institution, who advised right-wing Venezuelans on how to use civil disobedience to overthrow Hugo Chavez. [5]

And that will lead us to the final link in this humble blog entry. What is up with the US trying to destablise Chavez in Venezuela? Is it mostly about a new wave of fake peace activists (ever hear of Carol Rosin?) with various military and CIA ties whose main goals concern attempts at perverting democratic principles in sovereign nations? Does Kos' support of Ronald Reagan, the CIA, and the El Salvadoran oligarchy add up now or what?

Link #8:
US projects for Venezuela, by Eva Golinger

By the way, I will marry Eva Golinger, no questions asked. (excerpts)



Another ‘Orange Revolution’ after the Ukrainian and Yugoslavian ones, a destabilization plan made in USA

In these days, Venezuela lives a big destabilization plan aiming to overthrow Chavez government and to pave the way for an international intervention. This plan follows a way already putted in practice on other countries like Yugoslavia to overthrow Milosevic, or Ukraine with the ‘Orange Revolution’. This plan was also used in Georgia for the ‘Rose Revolution’.

The text of this plan, written by Gene Sharp, promoter of the Albert Einstein Institution of the United States, promotes the utilization of the civil non-violent resistance to make radical political changes in a country. But Sharp’s plan contains almost 200 actions and strategies for the social, political and economic destabilization; ....

The pupil of Sharp, Ackerman, is now the president of Freedom House financed by the State Department to ‘promote democracy’ in the world by the American way; it has a seat in Venezuela from September 2004, after the revocation referendum against Chavez. Peter Ackerman took up his engagement replacing James Woosley, ex-director of CIA representing the US intelligence and security forces. Also Ackerman is a promoter of the International Centre for Non-Violent Conflict, organization that produced documentaries like ‘Bringing down a dictator’, ‘Orange Revolution’ and books like ‘Strategic Nonviolent Conflict’ and ‘A Force More Powerful’.....

These US organizations, with the Freedom House, its centre of Venezuela and the funds of the State Department, are working for a new ‘coloured revolution’. This last week was the proof that this plan is in progress. Groups like ORVEX (organization of Venezuelan self-exiles in USA), Ofensiva Ciudadana and the Comando de Resistencia Nacional are trying to put in practice the ‘Gene Sharp’ plan to create chaos and insecurity in the country, causing repression to promote the international intervention. With their ‘guarimbas’ actions (sabotages, provocations of groups of people that make blocks and clashes with the police), their violence in the streets (1) and the utilization of the young Venezuelan people faces, they manipulate the world public opinion, obtaining the effect that multilateral organisms, like OAS (Organization of American States), European Community, US government or international associations for the human rights, are making critical statements about the Venezuelan government and support the destabilizing groups.

Though they didn’t carry out their objectives, the proofs show that they will keep on applying these strategies to obtain international support and the power to attack once again the Venezuelan democracy and the welfare of the people. Put an end to the actions of groups like Freedom House and the International Republican Institute would be the right way to defend the nation. These organizations are used by the State Department and CIA and are working freely in Venezuela.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos Is Not A Progressive

Francis Holland has a very interesting blog titled The Truth About Kos. He gets a few things wrong here and there, but his overall presentation is very impressive and correct for the most part. Moulitsas gave an interview in 2006 to the Commonwealth Club. He spoke of the CIA as being a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for. Now I have to be upfront right away. I became a lefty, progressive peacenik at age 18. One of the first things I learned about was the disgusting, historical record of the CIA. No lefty in their right mind would ever support their existence. In the interview, Kos said he applied for a position in 2001, and that it was a six-month process. He also said he went all the way to the end and decided against accepting a clandestine spy job to instead work for Howard Dean. The problem is the Dean job started in 2003. While Holland is a bit too adamant about saying Markos admitted to working for the CIA, it's really not his problem. For how does a six-month interview process take up to two years?

Francis has an advantage over others who have looked into this. He can read Spanish and has been able to read through documents that English only speaking folks aren't able to. One of them pertained to statements made by Kos that he was a poor immigrant. Now I am not too upset with Kos for calling himself an immigrant even though he was born in Illinois. He left America at an early age for El Salvador and then returned to America. My two biggest problems with Kos' story is his astroturfing concerning El Salvadoran history, and that he comes from a poor to middle class background. The two lies converge to show that he is a right winger dressing himself in progressive clothes.

I haven't seen one word out of him concerning right wing death squads that have operated out of El Salvador. I came of age during a period when the two biggest stories coming out of Central America were about conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and how there was heavy right-left debate in America over our foreign policy. As a lefty, I didn't appreciate the Reagan Administration's support of the Contras in Nicaragua. Subsequently, I did not appreciate the US support of a murderous regime in El Salvador. Basically, I was on the right side of history by being on the left.

I dare anyone to find anything ever written by Kos that has been intellectually honest about the conflict in El Salvador. What you will find is that he has placed the onus for heavy bloodshed on the rebels. He makes it seem his family was forced to flee El Salvador because of the guerrillas. He never mentions the death squads. I'm not going to do anyone's homework. I don't make one cent off of blogging. This is all pure history.

Myself, Francis, and a few others are people referred to as amateur, internet cybersleuths. It is a hobby for me. I feel it has been time better spent than playing video games. I do believe that the personal is political. I, like many, became a blogger because I wanted to partake in democracy. Yet, at each stop of mine in the progressive blogosphere, I found myself deeply disappointed in this vehicle being purported as one which can help the world along the way to peace and social justice. Huffington Post was too big. They have a bit of censorship. They have too much of a rotating news cycle, so no good insights can be developed. Things get pushed to the archives the next day. I was there for Cindy Sheehan's posts. I was amazed at the amount of trolling she had to absorb. That was the start of my disillusionment with the left-o-sphere. Throw in the amount of puff pieces Huffington offers and the number of vacuous bloggers Ariana employs, and I was out the door. Never banned, but gone.

I tried a few other places. Democratic Underground. Randi Rhodes. Progressive Independent. BradBlog. None of them worked out. The moderating was too heavy-handed and reeked of being controlled by grifters and disinfo peddlers. One of my last attempts at being a blogger was at the Daily Kos. After being censored by DU concerning my exposing of election integrity fakes, I figured DKos would be different. However, I soon learned that DKos is no different than the others. I was taken out by MajorFlaw and Alexandrovna. That's when I learned of Dave Weintraub. I ended up meeting him at his blog. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack a few days later. I researched his story. I soon learned more about astroturfing than I'd ever could have imagined. It all led back to right wingers, grifters, and disnformation peddlers acting as if they come from the left.

One interesting find Francis made was of a Moulitsas vanity website covering his wedding. The domain is no longer available. Hmmm. But thankfully due to the wayback machine, one can still see it.

Also because of the wayback machine, we are able to read disingenuous statements made by Markos. I will supply some Spanish text excerpts written by Jesús Henríquez for and do my best to translate. I know a bit of Espanol to go with babelfish.

El blog Daily Kos es considerado en la actualidad un referente de la cultura política estadounidense. Esta página fue creada en mayo de 2002 por Markos Moulitsas Zúniga.

(The Daily Kos is considered a microcosm of American political culture. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga created it in May, 2002.)

That's pretty strange stuff. The Daily Kos was created during the time period that Kos was in close contact with the CIA.

Nacido en 1971 en Chicago, vino a El Salvador en 1976 y regresó con su familia a Estados Unidos en 1980, cuando comenzaba el conflicto en nuestro país.

“De los primeros años me recuerdo poco”, dice. “De nuestra casa, de mi familia, de ir a la iglesia con mi abuelita, de dos gatos que tenía.”

Pero también alberga algunas imágenes de la violencia que ya comenzaba a vivir el país.

(Born in Chicago in 1971, he went to El Salvador in 1976 and then returned to the U.S. with his family in 1980, when the conflicts in the country began. He said, "Of those early years I remember- our house, going to church with my grandma, the two cats we had." Yet this also dislodged memories of violence that had begun to engulf [El Salvador].)

Markos then insinuated the violence as being the fault of the guerrillas. He had nothing to say about right wing death squads nor of the oligarchy which has controlled a nation with rich, poor, and few in between.

“Con el inicio de la guerra, me acuerdo mucho de balazos y explosiones. De ver guerilleros con sus máscaras en varios lugares o en televisión”, explica.

A pesar de haber desarrollado su vida en Estados Unidos, aún mantiene vínculos con El Salvador que lo hacen viajar y reconoce: “Lo que más me gusta es el espíritu salvadoreño. Trabajamos duro”.

("At the war's beginning, I heard many gunshots and explosions. I saw mask wearing guerrillas on television," he explains. Even though he has developed a life in the U.S., he still maintains bonds with and travels to El Salvador and recognises: "What I like most is the Salvadoran spirit. We work hard.")

Let's jump ahead.

“En el mundo antes de internet, alguien como yo nunca hubiera tenido ese nivel de éxito. No tengo dinero. No vengo de familia famosa o poderosa. Era inmigrante en Estados Unidos (...) La tecnología me dio la oportunidad de crear una publicación con más de un millón de lectores diarios sin tener que tener mucho dinero. Los costes de lanzamiento eran cerca de $100”.

("Before the internet age, someone like me would never have had this level of success. I had no money. I didn't come from a famous or powerful family. I was an immigrant in the U.S.. (...) This technology game me the opportunity to create an outlet with over a million daily readers without having much cash. The launching costs were about $100.")

Now let's move to the wedding pictures that are now only available through I think Moulitsas deleted this domain, because in it was the revelation that got Holland's attention a few years ago and led him to prove that indeed Markos Moulitsas Zuniga comes from a famous and powerful El Salvadoran family. The Zunigas are part of the haves. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga comes from the rich side of the divide in El Salvador. This is why he says he has no idea about the CIA's shady history. It can be shown that the CIA was involved with the death squads.

Now, there is compelling evidence to show that for over 30 years, members of the U.S. military and the CIA have helped organize, train, and fund death squad activity in El Salvador.

Yet, Markos says it is a liberal institution he'd have no trouble working for. This is as clear as spring water. This is why Markos doesn't write much more than scanty descriptions of his family background. They own a fancy hotel. Francis linked his family to not only the tourism board but also a wealthy salt company. Markos Moulitsas comes from a very wealthy background.

The Suites Jaltepeque is our family-owned hotel on El Salvador's Costa del Sol -- the largest uninterrupted beach in Central America.

I hadn't been downtown San Salvador since my family fled the country in 1980. The city offers a stark contrast between rich and poor -- you are basically one or the other. But the underlying changes gave me cause for hope. There were a great number of dark-skinned people in business suits, something that was much rarer in the past. The capital had erased most of its scars from the civil war that drove my family to the US...

...we drove up to the very impressive Puerta del Diablo (Devil's Gate), so called because it's a favorite place to commit suicide or drop off your murder victims.

While Markos does have a parent from Greece, I think he is dark-skinned enough to be implying that he was on the poor side of the Civil War. I'm also curious why he mentioned "Devil's Gate" as a "favorite place... to drop off your murder victims." That is a rocky area. Perhaps it was a guerrilla controlled area. I'm not sure. But it wouldn't surprise me. People are encouraged to check out Francis' blog and put on their thinking caps. I also encourage you to read up on the death squads, and how the Reagan Administration supported the oligarchy. Before Markos became a "progressive," he used to be a big supporter of Ronald Reagan and other prominent Republicans.