James T. Griffiths of the South China Morning Post was preparing a hit piece on analysts exposing the US role behind Hong Kong’s ongoing street protests organized by “Occupy Central.” Through a series of various logical fallacies, Griffiths was attempting to undermine and discredit these alternative news sources that have filled in the missing pieces intentionally left out by larger, subjectively pro-Western media monopolies and reporters like Griffiths himself.
In a conversation with Griffiths, after discussing the unscrupulous nature of his tactics, he finally conceded that indeed, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was providing cash for certain political groups to carry out their activities in Hong Kong. Griffiths would claim in response to the suggestion that “Occupy Central” taking US cash constituted sedition that:
If you think a pro-democracy NGO handing out money to pro-democracy organisations is creepy, then sure.
Only NED is not a “pro-democracy NGO.” It is a functionary of the United States government and more specifically the US State Department whose very existence is to serve US interests, not those of the many nations its various funding arms, including USAID and NED, meddle in.
Neo-Cons and Corporate Fascists for Democracy?
Griffiths’ backpedaling is typical. First denying “Occupy Central” was funded from abroad, but since forced to concede otherwise, he is now claiming that such foreign funding constitutes no conflict of interest and is merely the promotion of “democracy.” It appears, however, that Griffiths either is being dishonest, or is uninformed about the true nature of the National Endowment for Democracy. He refused to comment when presented with a full list of NED’s board of directors.
NED and its subsidiaries, Freedom House, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), despite the lofty mission statement articulated on their websites, are little more than fronts for executing American foreign policy. Just as the US military is used under the cover of lies regarding WMD’s and “terrorism,” NED is employed under the cover of bringing “democracy” to “oppressed” people. However, a thorough look at NED’s board of directors, as well as the board of trustees of its subsidiaries definitively lays to rest any doubts that may be lingering over the true nature of these organizations and the causes they support.
More importantly, for the many well-meaning left-leaning liberals intrigued by, and tempted to support “Occupy Central,” revelations that “Occupy Central” is in fact a far-right Neo-Con corporate-fascist scheme to expand a confrontation with China and extort from Beijing geopolitical and economic concessions should at the very least give pause for thought.
Upon NED’s board of directors are Neo-Conservatives including Elliot Abrams, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, Will Marshall, and Vin Weber, all signatories of the pro-war, pro-corporate Neo-Con Project for a New American Century. Within the pages of documents produced by this “think tank” are pleas to various US presidents to pursue war against sovereign nations, the increase of troops in nations already occupied by US forces, and what equates to a call for American global hegemony in a Hitlerian 90 page document titled “Rebuilding Americas Defenses.”
The “Statement of Principles,” signed off by NED chairmen Elliot Abrams, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Vin Weber, states, “we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” Of course this “international order,” is merely a poorly disguised euphemism for global neo-imperialism. Other Neo-Con that signed their name to this statement include Freedom House’s Paula Dobriansky, Dan Quayle (formerly), and Donald Rumsfeld(formerly). Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and Eliot Cohen also signed their names to this document.
A PNAC “Statment on Post-War Iraq” regarding a wholehearted endorsement of nation-building and continued occupation features the signatures of NED chairman Will Marshall, Freedom House’s Frank Carlucci (2002), and James Woolsey (formerly), along with Martin Indyk (Lowy Institute board member, co-author of the conspiring “Which Path to Persia?” report), and William Kristol and Robert Kagan both of the warmongering Foreign Policy Initiative. It should be noted that the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is, for all intents and purposes, PNAC’s latest reincarnation and in 2011 featured an open letter to House Republicans calling on them to disregard the will of the American people and continue pursuing the war in Libya.
The FPI letter even suggested that the UN resolution authorizing the war in the first place, was holding America “hostage” and that it should be exceeded in order to do more to “help the Libyan opposition.” This “opposition” was vocally supported by NED subsidiary IRI’s chairman and US Senator John McCain who stood in Libya’s terrorist capital of Benghazi pledging arms and cash in front of a courthouse that would later serve as a parade ground for legions of Al Qaeda terrorists.
An untitled PNAC letter addressed to then US President George Bush regarding a general call for global warmongering received the seal of approval from Freedom Houses’ Ellen Bork (2007), Ken Adelman (also former lobbyist for Thailand’s Thaksin Shinawatra via Edelman), and James Woolsey (formerly), along with notorious Neo-Cons Richard Perle, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Daniel Pipes.
Upon NED’s board of directors we first find John Bohn who traded petrochemicals, was an international banker for 13 years with Wells Fargo, and is currently serving as a principal for a global advisory and consulting firm, GlobalNet Partners, which assists foreign businesses by making their “entry into the complex China market easy.” Surely Bohn’s ability to manipulate China’s political landscape through NED’s various activities both inside of China and along its peripheries constitutes an alarming conflict of interest.
NED’s current and former board of directors also include the following representatives of Wall Street’s big business:
William Galston: Brookings Institution (corporate sponsors here).
Moises Naim: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (corporate funding here).
Robert Miller: (formerly) corporate lawyer.
Larry Liebenow: (formerly) US Chamber of Commerce (a chief proponent of SOPA), Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
Anne-Marie Slaughter: (formerly) US State Department, Council on Foreign Relations (corporate members here), director of Citigroup, McDonald’s Corporation, and Political Strategies Advisory Group.
Richard Gephardt: (formerly) US Representative, Boeing lobbyist, Goldman Sachs, Visa, Ameren Corp, and Waste Management Inc lobbyist, corporate consultant, consultant & now director of Ford Motor Company, supporter of the military invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson: CEO of Carlson, director of Exxon Mobil.
Stephen Sestanovich: US State Department, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, CFR.
Judy Shelton: (formerly) director of Hilton Hotels Corporation & Atlantic Coast Airlines.
Andrew J. Nathan: government and business consultant regarding China.
Margaret Spellings: president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former senior adviser to President George Bush, CEO of her own corporate consultant firm. Melanne Verveer: CFR and World Bank member.
Robert Zoellick: Senior Fellow at big-oil’s Belfer Center, served as Vice Chairman, International of Goldman Sachs Group, president of the World Bank Group from 2007-12, served in President George W. Bush’s cabinet as U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005 and as Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006.
NED’s subsidiary, NDI, is likewise chaired by a collection of corporate-financier interests. NDI in particular has taken center stage amid the ongoing “Occupy Central” protests, having directly funded various programs and organizations “Occupy Central’s” leadership belong to.
Robin Carnahan: Formally of the Export-Import Bank of the United States where she “explored innovative ways to help American companies increase their sale of goods and services abroad.” The NDI’s meddling in foreign nations, particularly in elections on behalf of pro-West candidates favoring free-trade, and Carnahan’s previous ties to a bank that sought to expand corporate interests overseas constitutes an alarming conflict of interests.
Richard Blum: An investment banker with Blum Capital, CB Richard Ellis. Engaged in war profiteering along side the Neo-Con infested Carlyle Group, when both acquired shares in EG&G which was then awarded a $600 million military contract during the opening phases of the Iraq invasion.
Bernard W. Aronson: Founder of ACON Investments. Prior to that, he was an adviser to Goldman Sachs, and serves on the boards of directors of Fifth & Pacific Companies, Royal Caribbean International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Chroma Oil & Gas, Northern Tier Energy. Aronson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which in turn represents the collective interests of some of the largest corporations on Earth.
Sam Gejdenson: NDI’s profile claims Gejdenson is “in charge of” Sam Gejdenson International, which proclaims on its website “Commerce Without Borders,” or in other words, big-business monopolies via free-trade. In his autobiographical profile, he claims to have promoted US exports as a Democrat on the House International Relations Committee. Here is yet another case of conflicting interests between NDI’s meddling in foreign politics and board members previously involved in “promoting US exports.”
Nancy H. Rubin: CFR member.
Vali Nasr: CFR member and a senior fellow at the big-oil, big-banker Belfer Center at Harvard.
Rich Verma: A partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP – an international corporate and governmental legal firm representing for Verma, a multitude of conflicting interests and potential improprieties. Setptoe & Johnson is active in many of the nations the NDI is operating in, opening the door for manipulation on both sides to favor the other.
Lynda Thomas: A private investor, formally a senior manager/CPA at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in New York, and Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte in London. Among her clients were international banks.
Maurice Tempelsman: Chairman of the board of directors of Lazare Kaplan International Inc., the largest cutter and polisher of “ideal cut” diamonds in the United States. Also senior partner at Leon Tempelsman & Son, involved in mining, investments and business development and minerals trading in Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, Canada and Asia. Yet another immense potential for conflicting interests, where Tempelsman stands to directly gain financially and politically by manipulating foreign governments via the NDI.
Elaine K. Shocas: President of Madeleine Albright, Inc., a private investment firm. She was chief of staff to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations during Madeleine Albright’s tenure as Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nation, illustrating a particularly dizzying “revolving door” between big-government and big-business.
Madeleine K. Albright: Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm – directly affiliated with fellow NDI board member Elaine Shocas, representing an incestuous business/government relationship with overt conflicts of interest. Albright infamously stated that sanctions against Iraq which directly led to the starvation and death of half a million children “was worth it.”
The International Republican Institute (IRI) also consists of similarly troubling leadership including US Senator John McCain who recently took to the stage in Kiev next to literal Neo-Nazis in support of their violent overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and retired general turned corporate lobbyist Brent Scowcroft who owned stock in companies including General Electric, General Motors, ITT, and Lockheed Martin while acting as US President George Bush’s National Security Adviser.
Freedom House also includes a long list of right-wing Neo-Conservatives, corporate lobbyists, and corporate directors including Neo-Con and corporate lobbyist Kenneth Adelman, Neo-Con and senior fellow at big-oil’s Belfer Center Paula Dobriansky, vice president of International Governmental Affairs for Ford Motor Company Stephen E. Biegun, Ellen Blackler representing the revolving door between government and big-media having held senior positions both within the US government regarding telecommunications as well as within AT&T and Disney, and Kathryn Dickey Karol representing corporations ranging from Caterpillar to big-pharma giants Eli Lilly & Company and Amgen.
It is safe to say that neither NED, Freedom House, nor any of their subsidiaries (IRI/NDI) garner within their ranks characters appropriate for their alleged cause of “supporting freedom around the world.” It is also safe to say that the principles of “democracy,” “freedom,” and “human rights” they allegedly champion for, are merely props behind which they couch their self-serving agendas. Big-oil, big-defense, telecommunication, and pharmaceutical giants, as well as individuals shamelessly spending their entire careers passing through the revolving doors between big-business and big-government do not care about “democracy” in Hong Kong. They care about what they can accomplish under the guise of caring.
James T. Griffiths of the South China Morning Post and supporters of “Occupy Central” have it upon themselves to reconcile the insidious nature of NED, its subsidiaries and the “Occupy Central” leaders willfully accepting support from them. Many of those providing aid to “Occupy Central” and funding their political activity have documented invested interests in manipulating the sociopolitical and economic landscape of both Hong Kong and China, and appear to be doing exactly that – not for the sake of the people of Hong Kong or mainland China, but for the sake of Wall Street and their respective corporate-financier interests
NED represents the very corruption, conflict of interest, and abuse of power many in “Occupy Central” claim to be opposed to. However, those involved in NED’s deception have skillfully dressed up these abuses as progressive – hence why left-leaning liberals find themselves zealously supporting the various global gambits of Neo-Conservatives, corporate-fascists, and faux-liberals.
And just as NED’s other interventions in the Middle East via the “Arab Spring” and the so-called “Euromaidan” in Ukraine have led to bloodshed and chaos, so too will the unrest in Hong Kong if it is not exposed and dismantled. NED has left a trail of destruction, war, subversion, division, and chaos everywhere it has gone – it is now on China’s doorstep.