News of Interest.TV

Ford Foundation, The CIA & U.S. Establishment Conspiracy

by Bob Feldman

September 29, 2002

Logo for the Ford Foundation
Logo for the Ford Foundation

[News of Interest.TV editor's note— This article describes a history of the powerful Ford Foundation collaborating with the CIA and other Establishment groups to provide funding to those groups as far back as World War II; also explained are aspects of the foundation's current configuration and many of its present abuses.

Excerpts are presented from the book ”The Cultural Cold War” by Frances Stoner Saunders explaining that the Ford Foundation has an official administrative unit within it specifically for collaborating with the CIA, and the Foundation has been one of the single largest donors to the Council on Foreign Relations. Also described is how many such foundations are used as a ”pass-through” to supply large amounts of secret funds to CIA projects.

Current issues with the Ford Foundation are explained, including it’s connections to such Establishment organizations as the Carlyle group, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, South African Apartheid, the Nuclear Weapons Industry, and it’s funding of many mainstream ”alternative” media outlets such as Democracy Now! and NPR.

This article is reprinted here as a part of the article Media Outlets Such as ”Democracy Now!” are Establishment Controlled News Sources.]

The Ford Foundation and ”The Cultural Cold War”

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 Froeign 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.”

[News of Interest.TV editor’s note: The original article contains additional information concerning the Ford Foundation’s activities during the Vietnam War and recent pro-war agendas by those involved with the organization.]


The Carlyle Group

Currently, the wife of the Bush II White House’s presidential historian (Michael Beschloss) sits on the Ford Foundation board of trustees. Ford Foundation Trustee Afsaneh Mashayetkhi Beschloss, a former World Bank managing officer, also is the CEO/president of the Carlyle Asset Management Group. President Bush II’s father George 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 manages. 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 invests heavily in war stock.

[News of Interest.TV editor's note— George Soros' investments with the Carlyle Group along with the Bush family and other Neocons is particularly disturbing because at the time of his involvement in the group he traveled the United States speaking to college campuses and the media talking about the importance of Bush being defeated in the upcoming election, comparing Bush to a Nazi and saying ”He’s leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence,” and he spoke about how civil liberties would disappear under Bush.

See the article Surprising facts about the globalist financier George Soros, from the book ”Do As I Say (Not As I Do)”.

Also see the video The Iron Triangle - The Carlisle Group.]

The Trilateral Commission

A former member of the board of directors of Chase Manhattan Bank, Susan Berresford has been the Ford Foundation president since 1996. Ford Foundation President Berresford is presently 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.

The Council on Foreign Relations

Ford Foundation President Berresford is 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.”

[News of Interest.TV editor’s note— The original article contains a 2000 Philanthropy Magazine interview of Trilateral Commission member Susan Berresford explaining the official version of the process of how grants are made by the Ford Foundation.]

The Pennsylvania State University

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 recieved 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.

South African Apartheid

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 tis total investment value at that time. The MULTINATIONAL MONITOR also noted that in 1988, ”eighteen million dolars” 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.

Nuclear Weapons Industry

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.”

Secretive Investments

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.”

Investments in For-Profit Corporate Stock

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.

Mainstream ”Alternative” Media is Quiet About Foundation Abuses

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. Estalbishment conspiracies that may 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 corporate 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...

George Soros’ ”Open Society Institute”

Speaking of the Schumann Foundation, 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 NATION/RADIO NATION.

[News of Interest.TV editor's note— See the article Surprising facts about the globalist financier George Soros, from the book ”Do As I Say (Not As I Do)”.]

Neutralizing Negative Publicity

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 subisidizing 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 Communictions. 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.

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