Tuesday, December 25, 2007

`George Philanthropist'

“I may be a plutocrat
But I believe in philanthropy
It lowers my tax rate
When I give you my blood money.

“My name is George Philanthropist and here’s a grant for you
To fund your media project and sponsor your protests, too
I invest heavily in Carlyle, which makes weapons for war
And if you don’t disclose this fact, you never will be poor.

“My name is George Philanthropist and here’s a grant for you
To fund your anti-war work and your indymedia, too
I speculate in currency, making billions when I score
And if you don’t disclose this fact, I’ll give you grants some more.

“My name is George Philanthropist and here’s a grant for you
To fund your own dance company and theatre in the street
I brought human rights to Europe by working with the CIA
And created a free market where my artists are well-paid.

“My name is George Philanthropist and I’m building a world empire
Of NGO grant-hustlers, to put out the rebel fires
My billions from stock investment, I’m using to manage change
And if you call me `Plutocrat,’ my cops will put you in chains.”

The George Philanthropist protest folk song was written in the early 21st-century, as the forces of foundation-sponsored “NGOism” continued to marginalize within the dissident U.S. anti-war left sub-culture those grassroots anti-war revolutionary leftists who refused to accept U.S. Establishment foundation grants.

CIA-Funded Foundation Grants (Downtown 3/17/93)

Although most U.S. foundations pose as being free of any CIA connection, during the 1960s many U.S. foundations were actually used by the CIA to grant CIA money to recipients of U.S. foundation grants. According to Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA In Transition by former Rhodes Scholar and former CIA Director Stanfield Turner, “Excluding grants from the three largest U.S. foundations—Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie—nearly half of the grants made in the field of international affairs by U.S. foundations between 1963 and 1967 involved CIA money, as did one-third of the grants in the physical, life, and social sciences.” Not surprisingly, few U.S. foundation grant-recipients do any critical research on the CIA’s role in 20th-Century U.S. history and world history, or the CIA’s role in U.S. scientific research.

(Downtown 3/17/93)

Did Ford Foundation Have CIA Connection? (Downtown/Aquarian 1/8/97)

During the Cold War era, a Ford Foundation executive who later became the CIA Deputy Director for Plans responsible for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the President of the Columbia University-affiliated Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], Richard Bissell, simultaneously worked as a CIA consultant. As the now-deceased Bissell recalled in his book Reflections Of A Cold Warrior:

“In January 1952 I joined the Ford Foundation…I worked out of a small office in Washington…The arrangement allowed me to work for the foundation while engaging in outside consulting assignments…Working in Washington…enabled me to maintain my close professional relationships…with people like Frank Wisner, Sherman Kent, Desmond Fitzgerald, Tracy Barnes, and Max Milliken, all of whom were in the CIA and close to Allen Dulles…

“In the fall of 1952, I became part of the CIA’s Princeton Group of consultants (so named because it met on the university’s campus)…In late 1952…Max Milliken resigned as an assistant director of the CIA…to become director of MIT’s Center for International Studies [CENIS]…I was able to get the trustees of the Ford Foundation to fund research at CENIS.”

(Downtown/Aquarian 1/8/97)

Why Ford Foundation Was Set Up (Downtown/Aquarian 2/5/97)

The Ford Foundation was originally set up by the ultra-rich Ford Dynasty as a tax avoidance scheme. As Charity USA: An Investigation Into The Hidden World Of The Multi-Billion Dollar Charity Industry by Carl Bakal recalled in 1979:

“By setting up the foundation and bequeathing 90 percent of their Ford Motor Company stock to it, the noncharitable Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, enabled their heirs to avoid an inheritance tax that would have come to $321 million…All the stock that was given to the foundation was nonvoting. The 10 percent retained by the family had total voting power, maintaining the family domination of the company. Moreover, the voting stock passed to the family tax free, saving another $42 million, because the wills of Henry and Edsel provided that the taxes on the bequest be paid by the foundation.”

(Downtown/Aquarian 2/5/97)

Carnegie Trustees Gave Grants To Own Institutions (Downtown/Aquarian 11/27/96)

During the 1990s, U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice and Time magazine’s then-editorial director, Henry Muller were both affiliated to Stanford University. U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice was then Stanford University’s Provost and Muller was a member of Stanford University’s board of trustees. At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Rice and Muller were also both trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York during the 1990s. Coincidentally, the Carnegie Corp. of New York gave five grants, worth over $2.7 million to Stanford University in 1994-95, according to its 1995 Annual Report.

WNYC Foundation Trustee Wilma Tisch was also a Carnegie Corp. trustee in the 1990s. Coincidentally, the Carnegie Corp. gave a $200,000 grant to the WNYC Foundation in 1994-95.

Of the $55 million in grants dished out by the Carnegie Corp. of NY in 1994-95, none of the major grants apparently went to NYC groups involved in either providing services for people with AIDS or for AIDS research. On Sept. 30, 1995, the market value of the “non-profit” Carnegie Corp.’s investments exceeded $1.2 billion; and then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was a Carnegie Corp. trustee before he moved into a D.C. government office.

Downtown/Aquarian asked then-Time magazine editorial director Muller to comment in 1996 on whether there was a conflict-of interest in him then sitting on a foundation board whose past and present trustees and activities were being reported on by Time magazine; and whether he thought it was ethical for Carnegie Corp. trustees to give grants to institutions, like Stanford University, with which they were personally affiliated. But the then-Stanford University/Carnegie Corporation trustee and then-Time magazine editorial director did not return our calls.

(Downtown/Aquarian 11/27/96)

In his 1975 book, The Rockefeller Syndrome, Ferdinand Lundberg summarized how the Ultra-Rich Rockefeller Dynasty has tended to historically operate:

“Spelling it all out, so that even…professors can understand, the Rockefeller Operation boils down to the following:…A huge fortune, illicitly amassed, is doled out in part over a span of many years in a variety of projects…A…sympathetic chord is struck with some part of the public for each project, appeasing discontent with the way the fortune was acquired…Managerial…elements benefiting personally from each project naturally become Rockefeller boosters…The Rockefellers avoid taxes…A further gain in funding tax-deductible projects…is that…one has…the privilege of…decreeing what shall and what shall not be…supported…A vast fortune is retained through the generations and is so managed as to confer great…economic clout from one generation to the next…Anyone who presumes to criticize the operation is countered by the technique of…public relations officers and the outcries of the immediate beneficiaries, the tax-exempt project administrators.”

Next: Columbia University Gave Award To Brent Scrowcroft In 2005