Monday, May 20, 2013

Columbia University's Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems' Connection: Trilateral Commission's Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean--Conclusion

“In his 1976 book, The Control of Oil, the former Chief Economist of the Senate Subcommittee on Anti-Trust and Monopoly, John Blair, noted that in 1938 the Rockefeller family held directly or indirectly, 20 percent of Exxon’s stock, 16 percent of Mobil’s stock, 11 percent of Standard Oil of Indiana/Amoco’s stock and 12 percent of Standard Oil of California (SOCAL)/Chevron’s stock. In 1974, according to the book Everybody’s Business, the Rockefeller family still owned 1 percent of all Exxon stock (worth $156.7 million), 1.7 percent of Mobil’s stock (worth $63.6 million), .2 percent of Standard Oil of Indiana/Amoco stock (worth $11.7 million) and 2 percent of Standard Oil of California (SOCAL)/Chevron stock (worth $$85.3 million). In addition, Trilateral Commission Founder David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank owned 1.5 percent of SOCAL/Chevron’s stock in 1980.”
--Downtown (l2/12/90)

“…The Rockefeller clan – there are 242 of them, including spouses and minors – has endured as a powerful force…ExxonMobil stock is the single biggest holding of some family members…”

--from a May 2, 2008 Financial Times article by Chrystia Freeland

“One area of Rockefeller & Co. know-how has been built out of the Rockefeller family's 50-year record of integrating environmental, social, and governance concerns into its portfolio and investment decisions...Rockefeller targets families with $30 million; new clients are generally subject to a minimum $100,000 annual fee…”

--from a September 15, 2012 Barron’ article by Richard C. Morais

“In 1978, the year Charles Trimble founded Trimble Navigation, the original NAVSTAR satellite was launched, giving the U.S. government its first reference point for a worldwide radio-navigation system that became known as GPS, or Global Positioning System…GPS was developed to meet military needs…The U.S. government invested $12 billion in the project...GPS first earned its admirers during the Persian Gulf War, a time when, not coincidentally, Trimble Navigation captured the interest of industry observers….During Operation Desert Storm, Trimble Navigation provided troops with Trimpacks, devices that enabled soldiers to pinpoint their location. The hand-held receivers performed admirably, earning praise from military commanders and making Trimble Navigation an attractive prospect for investors...When sales in 1990 reached $63.3 million, the announcement fanned investor interest in the company. The figure exceeded Wall Street analysts' expectations by roughly 25 percent, prompting investors to look closer at the Sunnyvale, California-based enterprise. What they saw was a company controlling 60 percent of a market whose revenue volume was more than doubling annually….They saw a company whose orders for Trimpack receivers totaled $40 million between October 1990 and March 1991. Trimble Navigation's stock value soared as a result...Military sales…had fueled the company's meteoric rise in 1990 and 1991…”

--from the Gale Directory of Company Histories

GPS…is a crucial wartime technology for U.S. forces in Iraq.

“The military relies on the Global Positioning System to direct the kind of precision-guided "smart bombs" that were used in the opening air assault on Iraq…GPS receivers also are widely deployed among ground forces, allowing them to better navigate the desert terrain and track their precise locations, even during blinding sandstorms.

“…Before the full GPS system was operational, the United States used laser-guided bombs that were affected by rain, clouds and sandstorms. But in Kosovo in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2002, the United States deployed a new generation of GPS-guided bombs…”

--from a March 20, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle article

Trimble Military and Advanced Systems Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., (FA8807-13-D-0017) is being awarded a $6,712,500 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for acquisition of Trimble GPS receivers. The location of the performance is Sunnyvale, Calif. Work is expected to be completed by December 2017. The contracting activity is SMC/GPK, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Contract involves Foreign Military Sales. (Air Force Contract).”

– from a Dec. 10, 2012 U.S. Department of Defense press release

“The School of International Affairs (SIA) has become, in the space of a. few years, one of Columbia's largest, and most important divisions….In 1967, the School listed a Faculty and staff of over 150 members, which included some of the most prestigious -- and powerful -- figures in the Columbia community….. The purpose of the SIA has never been in doubt: to train experts in international affairs and foreign areas for administrative positions in America's expanding overseas empire…. “

--from NACLA’s 1968 pamphlet, Who Rules Columbia?

Columbia University’s Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems’ Connection: Trilateral Commission’s Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean—Conclusion

For nearly 100 years, Trilateral Commission founder David Rockefeller Sr. and other members of the Rockefeller Dynasty have obtained and retained much wealth and special influence in the world of U.S. business, politics, culture and higher education as a result of their family ownership—or control via their various “non-profit” foundations, banks or family investment firms—of stock in U.S.-based transnational oil/energy corporations like ExxonMobil and Chevron/Texaco/Unocal.

And according to a 13 FHR filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission [SEC] for the period ending March 31, 2013 made by the Rockefeller & Co./Rockefeller Financial Services firm on whose board of directors the new Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs [SIPA] dean—Trilateral Commission member Merit Janow—has sat in recent years, over $173 million worth of Chevron/Texaco/Unocal stock and over $92 million worth of ExxonMobil stock are currently owned or controlled by Rockefeller & Co./Rockefeller Financial Services.

In addition, the stock portfolio of Rockefeller & Co./Rockefeller Financial Services includes large chunks of stock in corporations such as Google, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, Apache Corporation, Apple, Boeing, BP, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Con Edison, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, IBM, Merck, Royal Dutch Shell, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart and Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems (on whose board of directors Columbia SIPA Dean Janow has also sat in recent years).

Coincidentally, Trimble Military and Advanced Systems has apparently manufactured weapons that were used by the U.S. military to wage war overseas since 2001 on behalf of the special corporate interests of transnational oil/energy corporations such as Chevron/Texaco/Unocal and ExxonMobil, in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. On May 13, 2002, for example, Trimble Navigation/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems was awarded a $2.1 million military development contract to supply GPS technology for Raytheon’s Miniature Airborne GPS Receiver MAGR 2000 for use in a variety of U.S. and Allied military aircraft including the MG-53E Sea Dragon, F016 Fighting Falcon, and E-2c Hawkeye. And on September 26, 2002, Trimble was also awarded a contract from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR), Special Missions Branch. (end of article)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Columbia University's Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems' Connection: Trilateral Commission's Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean--Part 2

“[Former Democratic President] Carter’s close ties with David Rockefeller, the Eastern Establishment and Trilateral Commission—certainly known to many New York Times writers—were also never reported, although the story was certainly important. In fact, the absence of reporting on Carter’s connections led one distinguished panel of judges to label `Jimmy Carter and the Trilateral Commission’ to be the best censored story of 1976, the most important story during that year that the entire American media systematically failed to cover…

“The Trilateral Commissioners were—and still are—a very elite group, members by invitation only, with a majority composed of multinational businessmen and corporate lawyers. All were chosen directly or indirectly by Rockefeller…”

--from Lawrence Shoup’s 1980 book, The Carter Presidency and Beyond

“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…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.”

--from Ferdinand Lundberg’s 1975 book, The Rockefeller Syndrome

“When I congratulated George [H.W.] Bush on his election as vice-president in 1980, I said I hoped he didn’t mind receiving correspondence from a member of the Trilateral Commission, to which he belonged. He scrawled a card of thanks, and said, `”Sh-sh-sh” about the Trilateral stuff.’ I have kept this exchange secret until now.”

--from then-Trilateral Commission Member Hedley Donovan’s 1989 book, The Right Place, The Right Time

“…Any new clients will be dealing with Rockefeller Financial Services, the trade name of Rockefeller & Co..  Some $7 billion of Rockefeller Financial's $35 billion pile are "assets under management"; the rest are assets under advisement or administration. Rockefeller provides its 298 clients…service through its portfolio-tracking product for wealthy families, Rockit Solutions.

Rockefeller…still believes in running its own funds in 10 core areas, such as global equities and fixed income. David Harris, Rockefeller's chief investment officer, says large multinationals with their triple-A ratings and mountains of cash need to be viewed as `the new sovereigns’…The firm claims that its global funds are stars, but it keeps a lid on details…Rockefeller reluctantly produced a `confidential’ performance sheet on its 10 core funds but barred us from publishing the results…”

--from a September 15, 2012 Barron’ article by Richard C. Morais

Trimble's Force 22E… provides military integrators of munitions, unmanned vehicles, and mobile communications systems with a small, light weight solution for GPS-based navigation and timing… The Force 22E is backward compatible with its predecessor, the proven Force 22 receiver. The addition of a massive fast acquisition correlator and an ICD-167 SHCI interface, makes the Force 22E the most powerful military receiver available in this small size….”

--from the Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems, Inc. website

Columbia University’s Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems’ Connection: Trilateral Commission’s Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean—Part 2

Columbia University’s new School of International and Public Affairs[SIPA] dean—Trilateral Commission member and Rockefeller & Co. corporate board member Merit Janow—may not be eager to encourage many Columbia students or members of the public to study how the Rockefeller Dynasty has obtained, increased and preserved its excessive wealth, historically. Nor will Columbia’s new SIPA dean likely be eager to fully disclose to either the academic community at Columbia or the public too many details about Rockefeller & Co./Rockefeller Financial Service’s 10 core global funds.

But according to an article by Richard Morais, titled “Rock of Ages”, that was posted on the Barron’ website on September 15, 2012, since the start of the endless U.S. economic recession in 2008, “Rockefeller’s assets under advisement and administration actually rose 52%, to $35 billion, in the three years through this past June [2012];” and “seven global-equity and small-cap funds” of Rockefeller & Co./Rockefeller Financial Services “have consistently outperformed indexes over long periods of time.”

During this same U.S. economic recession another corporation on whose board of directors Columbia’s new SIPA dean has sat in recent years—Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems [TMAS]—has also apparently been making a lot of money by manufacturing weapons for the Pentagon’s endless drone war in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other foreign countries.

Between 2008 and early 2012, for example, the TMAS firm—that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Trimble Navigation Limited corporation on whose corporate Columbia SIPA Dean Janow has sat since 2008—apparently accepted 50 contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense—whose total worth exceeded $6.6 million—to produce military weaponry-related products. (end of part 2)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Columbia University's Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems' Connection: Trilateral Commission's Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean--Part 1

“In 1973 the Trilateral Commission was founded by David Rockefeller, Chase Manhattan Bank chairman, [former Columbia University Professor] Zbignew Brzezinski…and other like-minded "eminent private citizens."… Members…are drawn from international business and banking, government, academia, media, and conservative labor. The Commission's purpose is to engineer an enduring partnership among the ruling classes of North America, Western Europe, and Japan-hence the term "trilateral"-in order to safeguard the interests of Western capitalism in an explosive world. The private Trilateral Commission is attempting to mold public policy…Trilateralists are saying: (1) the people, governments, and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations; (2) control over economic resources spells power in modern politics (of course, good citizens are supposed to believe as they are taught; namely, that political equality exists in Western democracies whatever the degree of economic inequality); and (3) the leaders of capitalist democracies-systems where economic control and profit, and thus political power, rest with the few-must resist movement toward a truly popular democracy….”

--Holly Sklar in 1980

“Barack Obama appointed eleven members of…Trilateral Commission to top-level… positions in his administration within his first ten days in office… Within two weeks of his inauguration, Obama’s appointments encompassed more than 12 percent of Commission’s entire US membership…Since the Carter administration, Trilateralists have held these very influential positions: Six of the last eight World Bank Presidents; Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States (except for Obama and Biden); over half of all US Secretaries of State; and three quarters of the Secretaries of Defense….”

--the Project Censored website

“John D. Rockefeller's family office, Rockefeller & Co., was founded in 1882. It began selling its expertise to other families in 1980, and by mid-2008 it had $28 billion of clients' assets under its hood….In September 2009, as the financial crisis raged, Rockefeller's chief executive, James S. McDonald, shot himself behind a car dealership in Dartmouth, Mass.

“While world markets continued their downward spiral, it took a year for the Rockefeller Family Trust, which owns 100% of the multifamily office's voting rights, to get McDonald's successor in place….”

--from a September 15, 2012 Barron’s com article by Richard C. Morais

“As the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, Reuben Jeffery III, serves as the senior economic official at the State Department. Mr. Jeffery advises the Secretary of State on international economic policy…He also serves as the State Department's Coordinator for International Energy Affairs

Nominated by President Bush on April 16, 2007, and confirmed by the Senate on June 21, 2007, Mr. Jeffery was sworn into office by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on June 27….Mr. Jeffery previously served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council. Mr. Jeffery also acted as the Representative and Executive Director of the Coalition Provisional Authority Office (CPA) at the Pentagon, after having served as an advisor to Ambassador Bremer in Iraq…’

--from a biography of Rockefeller & Co. CEO and board member Reuben Jeffery III that was posted on the U.S. State Department website in 2007

TMAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trimble Navigation Limited, which develops advanced GPS solutions for the defense aerospace industry. TMAS products incorporate a common 24-Channel GPS engine that is capable of simultaneously tracking all signals from all GPS satellites in view.

“High-performance products, innovative technology, and proven experience in the field make Trimble a trusted supplier for US and Allied military GPS users worldwide. Over the last decade, armed forces around the world have procured more than 50,000 military receivers from Trimble.

--from the Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems, Inc. website

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger has appointed Merit E. Janow as the next dean of the University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), effective July 1."

from the Columbia University website on May 17, 2013

Columbia University’s Rockefeller-Trimble Military and Advanced Systems’ Connection: Trilateral Commission’s Merit Janow Named Columbia SIPA Dean—Part 1

Like a former Special Assistant to former Republican President George W. Bush and a former advisor to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Paul Bremer named Reuben Jeffery III, Columbia University’s new School of International and Public Affairs [SIPA] Dean Merit Janow is a member of the undemocratically selected Trilateral Commission elite group that David Rockefeller founded in 1973.

And like Bush and Bremer’s former advisor Jeffery, Trilateral Commission member Janow also sits next to David Rockefeller, David Rockefeller Jr., Mark Rockefeller and Michael Rockefeller on the board of directors of the Rockefeller Dynasty’s Rockefeller & Co.; which, according to its website, apparently seeks to increase both the Rockefeller family’s wealth and the wealth of “select investors outside of the Rockefeller family,” by investing and managing “approximately $35 billion in assets.”

Besides being a member of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission and the corporate board of Rockefeller & Co., Columbia University’s new SIPA dean has also been a member in recent years of the corporate boards of Nasdaq Exchange LLC, the Capital Income Building Fund, the World Growth and Income Fund, the American Fund Insurance Series and the American Fund Target Date Retirement Fund. In addition, SIPA Dean Janow has, since 2008, sat on the board of directors of the Sunnyvale, California-based Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems [TMAS], Inc corporation (that has produced weapons for the endless U.S. military’s drone war in Afghanistan and other countries in recent years). As a February 7, 2008 press release of Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems noted:

Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) announced today it has appointed Merit E. Janow to serve on its Board of Directors effective March 1, 2008….

“`We are pleased to welcome Merit to Trimble's Board of Directors,’ said Steven W. Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble. `The aggressive development of our international markets is core to Trimble's strategy in all of our segments. Merit's demonstrated global expertise, experience and insight will enable her to make a significant contribution to the Board.’…”

According to the Forbes magazine website, in 2011, Columbia’s new SIPA dean was apparently paid $54,000 in compensation and $228,000 in stock as compensation for sitting on the board of directors of Trimble Navigation Limited/Trimble Military and Advanced Systems. And, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' Open Secrets website, SIPA Dean Janow apparently made a campaign contribution of $1,000 to GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush's campaign on June 30, 1999 and a campaign contribution of $2,000 to former Republican President George W. Bush's re-election campaign on August 12, 2003. (end of part 1)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

45th Anniversary of 1968 Columbia University Student Revolt: Revisiting 2011 Interview About 1968 Revolt and Columbia's NROTC Connection

On April 23, 1968 a student revolt of Columbia University and Barnard College students began on the campus of Columbia University in New York City that led to the non-violent occupation by anti-war and anti-racist students of five Columbia University buildings: Hamilton Hall, Low Library, Avery Hall, Fayerweather Hall and Mathematics Hall; and a subsequent invasion and occupation of Columbia's campus in the early morning hours of April 30, 1968 by around 1,000 New York City Tactical Patrol Force [TPF]cops (who arrested over 700 students and injured over 100 students and faculty members during the police riot that developed after the police began to make arrests and clear the university buildings of its protesting students).

To mark the 45th anniversary of the beginning of the 1968 Columbia University Student Revolt, following is the text of a 2011 e-mail interview with a Columbia student about both the 1968 student revolt at Columbia and the Columbia Administration's decision to begin training U.S. Navy military officers again on its campus for the endless U.S. wars abroad during the 21st-century in a Columbia University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps [NROTC] department/unit:

What was the climate like on campus in the 1960s from your perspective?

BF: Although Columbia was on the border of Harlem, in the 1960s very few students, professors or administrators at Columbia or Barnard were African-American in the 1960s. So the climate on Columbia’s campus in the 1960s was felt by most Black students who attended either the then-all-male Columbia College or one of Columbia’s professional grad schools to be unfriendly and unwelcoming. Black students returning to their dorms on Columbia’s campus at night, for example, were often stopped by Columbia’s security guards on campus and asked to show their Columbia student identification card much more frequently than their white student counterparts—who were usually never stopped unless they were visibly drunk and rowdy.

Yet perhaps because of the impact of mass media coverage of the early 1960s Civil Rights Movement, by the Fall of 1965—when I arrived at Columbia—hundreds of mostly white liberal or white left Columbia College or Barnard College undergraduate students were involved, outside of the classroom, in various Harlem or Upper West Side community service or tutoring projects that the student-run Columbia Citizenship Council organized; or in student activist groups like Columbia and Barnard’s Congress on Racial Equality—C.O.R.E.—chapter.

But still, until April 1968 the majority of Columbia and Barnard undergraduates seemed much more into just hanging out in the Ferris Booth Hall student union building lounge and Lion’s Den cafeteria during the day, going to the West End Bar—you could legally drink at 18 years of age in Manhattan in the 1960s—and exploring Manhattan on weekends, their academic/career preparation work, or their personal relationships; than into getting involved in either Civil Rights Movement activism, Citizenship Council community service projects, or any anti-war activism which protested the Columbia University Administration’s collaboration with the Vietnam War Era Pentagon war machine in any sustained way, on a daily basis. And until April 1968, most of the Columbia grad students and professional school students seemed too busy working on their master’s thesis or PhD dissertations or academic work—or reading of law books-- to be involved much with anti-war student groups like Columbia-Barnard SDS, on a regular basis.

And aside from a Columbia Professor of Math named Serge Lang, a Columbia Professor at the School of Engineering named Seymour Melman, a Columbia Professor of Sociology named Vernon Dibble and the Episcopal Campus Ministry person at Columbia’s Earl Hall—Rev. Bill Starr—nearly all the members of the Columbia and Barnard faculty in the 1960s seemed more into their academic careers on a daily basis, than into speaking out much against Columbia University’s involvement, institutionally, with both the Institute for Defense Analyses—IDA—weapons research think tank of the Pentagon or the Pentagon’s Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps—NROTC—program that trained U.S. military officers for the U.S. military intervention in Indochina.

Another thing about the climate on Columbia’s campus in the 1960s was that since only men were then admitted to Columbia College, only men then lived inside the Columbia College dorms and there were some restrictions on allowing women to visit men inside Columbia College’s dorms even in the late 1960s. So the only anti-war canvassing and knocking on dormitory doors to discuss the war and the draft with dorm residents on each floor—and the slipping of anti-war flyers under dormitory room doors—that could be done inside Columbia’s dorms in the 1960s had to be done usually by Columbia College men alone.

Most of the students on Columbia’s campus seemed to be either politically apathetic or pro-war until the Fall of 1966—when the Columbia SDS chapter that the still-imprisoned U.S. political prisoner David Gilbert founded was re-organized and most of the 200 to 300 students who had attended the demos and meetings and rallies on a fairly regular basis of the Independent Committee on Vietnam—the ICV—at Columbia--which had been formed after the Pentagon began bombing North Vietnam regularly in early 1965—collectively decided that a multi-issue, anti-war student group like Columbia SDS—which also worked to democratize the decision-making process at Columbia by creating more student power at Columbia—was the way to go politically for Columbia and Barnard’s white student left.

Yet even though there had been a protest outside Low Library—where the NROTC ceremony at Columbia was being held—in May 1965-- which was broken up by the New York City cops that the Columbia Administration called in at that time--it’s important again to realize that anti-war students at Columbia and Barnard still represented a minority campus sentiment until the early months of 1967. And until April 1968, the majority of Columbia and Barnard students—although by then passively opposed to the Vietnam War and the draft that then threatened their lives after graduation once they lost their student deferments—were generally still pretty apathetic politically on a daily basis.

What did exist, though, before April 1968 at Columbia and Barnard that didn’t exist at most other U.S. universities—with the possible exception of UC-Berkeley and some of the other large state universities—was a hard-core of 30 to 50 anti-war New Left radical student activists, organizing under the Columbia SDS banner, whose steering committee met every Friday afternoon—usually in Earl Hall—to figure out different ways in which the apathetic anti-war liberal majority of Columbia and Barnard students could be politically radicalized in their political/philosophical consciousness and lifestyle aspirations; and eventually also mobilized to unite politically and end the Columbia Administration’s collaboration with the U.S. war machine and its institutional racism with regard to the historic way it related to Harlem residents and its African-American students.

What also existed at Columbia in the 1960s that didn’t exist at most other U.S. universities was a political revolutionary leadership of SAS—the Student Afro-American Society—which was willing to both align with a nearly all white anti-war left radical student group like Columbia SDS—once SDS showed it could mobilize nearly 500 people to non-violently confront the Columbia Administration around a set of anti-war and anti-racist demands; and which was willing to take a leadership role inside Hamilton Hall of the mass base of SDS during the initial period of the April 1968 student revolt at Columbia—that was sparked by the assassination of Martin Luther King, the failure of the Columbia Administration to both stop construction of its planned gymnasium in Morningside Park despite the protests of Harlem’s community groups and end Columbia’s institutional membership and sponsorship of the Pentagon’s IDA, and the attempt of the Columbia Administration to discipline anti-war student activists for staging an indoor demo against the Columbia-IDA connection inside Low Library in march 1968.

After Columbia’s buildings were occupied and the two police invasions/police riots of April and May 1968 on Columbia’s campus happened, of course, the climate on Columbia’s campus became much more politicized for the next few years than before April 1968; and the level of general student political apathy seemed to decline dramatically.

What objections, if any, do you have regarding the return of the ROTC today?

BF: The return of a ROTC program to Columbia’s campus would represent a decision by the Columbia Administration to, on an institutional level, contribute to the Pentagon’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2011. If you think it’s moral for the U.S. government to continue waging war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, then it probably would seem o.k. morally to you for Columbia University to start training U.S. military officers on its campus.

But what if, like me, you think that it’s immoral for the U.S. government to continue waging war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? Then wouldn’t it also be then immoral for Columbia University to contribute to prolonging this U.S. military intervention by training U.S. military officers who will be participating in this unjust and endless war?

In recent years, for example, 80 percent of all students who were trained on Cornell University’s campus by that Ivy League School’s ROTC program have served as U.S. military officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, if you check out the Wikipedia entry for “Reserve Officers Training Corps,” it seems to indicate that in recent years U.S. university ROTC programs have been producing 39 percent of all active-duty officers for the Pentagon—20 percent of all active duty U.S. Navy officers, 41 percent of all officers for the U.S. Air Force which has dropped bombs that kill civilians on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and 56 percent of all active duty U.S. Army officers (many of whom have—after being trained by U.S. universities—been involved in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, for example).

Or to put my objections another way. Imagine that you were a German student at a German university in late 1940 and you were examining the ways that German universities were contributing to the German war effort and occupation in Poland and France, for example. One way might be that science professors at German universities were doing research for the German Ministry of Defense. And another way might be that German universities were training some of their students to serve as German military officers in the German war machine that bombed and occupied Poland, France and other countries.

And imagine that you had discovered in 1940 that thousands of civilians had been killed in Poland and elsewhere by the same German military that the science professors at the German university you attended were doing research for; and that the German university you attended was training some of its students to be military officers for the German military? Wouldn’t you then feel that you had an internationalist moral and humanitarian obligation to do all that you could to stop the German university that you attended from training officers for the German military on your campus?

In addition, even if you don’t object to what’s been done overseas to foreign civilians and to the foreign soldiers, foreign insurgents and U.S. soldiers who have been casualties of the endless Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan military intervention by the U.S. government, an objection to the return of ROTC can be made on the philosophical basis that U.S. universities should be in the business of the pursuit of knowledge and the promotion of humanism and pacifism; and not be involved in training its students in ROTC courses like “the art of war” and the killing of the people that the U.S. government decides is now “the enemy.”

Before the DADT law was in place, what were the guidelines barring ROTC from being a campus activity: in other words, what do you see was the reason for its absence in the 1970s and 1980s?

BF: The official grounds for barring ROTC from being a campus activity before the DADT by most of the Ivy League administrations and their faculty committees may sometimes have been that the ROTC courses may not have conformed to the academic course accreditation criteria required by some of these Ivy League schools. But I think the real reason for ROTC’s absence in the 1970s and 1980s from places like Columbia was because anti-militarist student and faculty sentiment was still high, due to the campus political consciousness that had developed during the Vietnam War Era. And administrators at places like Columbia probably felt it made no political sense to disturb the relative campus calm of the post-1973 era by provoking its by then generally politically passive anti-war student body and politically passive anti-war professors into a potential new wave of campus protest--comparable to what happened in the 1960s—by trying to push ROTC back onto their campuses.

What do you think would happen if the ROTC was allowed to return to campus—at Columbia and elsewhere?

BF: Both the Pentagon and the U.S. corporate media—including the New York Times—would probably highlight it as an historical reversal of one of the legacies of the Vietnam War Era and the 1968 Columbia Anti-War Student Strike fall-out and the Sixties Anti-War Movement. And it would probably be utilized by the U.S. government as evidence that—under the Democratic Obama Administration—the alienation of U.S. college students from the U.S. military has decreased and that current U.S. college students—even at a bastion of anti-war sentiment historically like Columbia and Barnard—now have less objection to the continued endless U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan than did U.S. college students during the Republican Bush Administration.

The folks on the U.S. right-wing who don’t see anything morally questionable about the militarism of U.S. foreign policy will probably also feel more emboldened about bringing their pro-militarist agenda onto Columbia’s campus and re-militarizing Columbia to the point where they would eventually demand that the ban on secret military research on Columbia’s campus also be lifted.

And I suspect that some more juicy, lucrative Department of Defense research contracts would tend to get thrown Columbia’s way much more, if ROTC were now allowed to return to Columbia’s campus. So Columbia might once again, eventually, become “The MIT of West Harlem”—in terms of the degree to which it once again started to become dependent on Pentagon contracts for nearly half its budget, like it was in the mid-1960s.

Of course, once students wearing ROTC uniforms started marching around on campus and holding military-oriented ceremonies again on Columbia’s campus, it’s also possible that eventually—if the endless U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan isn’t ended or if an additional U.S. military intervention in Iran, North Korea or Venezuela is eventually started over the next few years—some anti-war students at Barnard College and Columbia College might mobilize eventually in larger numbers to again demand that Columbia stop training U.S. military officers for the U.S. power elite’s endless wars abroad.

What is your perspective on the acceptance, with faculty, alumni and current students?

BF: If you check out the chapter, titled “The Military Ascendancy,” in former Columbia University Professor C. Wright Mills’ book The Power Elite, J.W. Fulbright’s The Pentagon Propaganda Machine book or the CBS documentary The Selling of the Pentagon from the 1970s—and also Al Jazeera TV’s recent documentary on YouTube on the way the Pentagon uses Hollywood to promote support for U.S. military adventurism around the globe—you’ll see that since World War II there’s always been a big public relations effort by the Pentagon and the U.S. military-industrial-university-media complex to get people in the USA to feel that it’s “unpatriotic” to be opposed to the militarization of U.S. society and a U.S. foreign policy that is militaristic or to call for huge cuts in the Pentagon’s defense budget. And U.S. supporters of a pacifist U.S. foreign policy and the demilitarization of U.S. society and of U.S. universities like Columbia generally don’t get much mass media TV exposure—except when anti-war and anti-racist students non-violently occupy buildings in large numbers at places like Columbia in 1968 or when anti-war activists—like the Chicago 8—went on trial in Chicago during the 1969-1970 academic year.

So it wouldn’t be unexpected if current Barnard College , Columbia College students and faculty—as well as current Columbia Journalism School students and faculty—end up accepting passively the return of ROTC to places like Columbia in 2011. Especially if it’s marketed as “a way to influence the U.S. military in a more humanitarian direction”; or as something that only students and professors who are “soft on terrorism” or “stuck in a 1960s mentality,” or “politically naïve pacifists” would have moral objections about.

On the other hand it could be that the now-imprisoned Private Manning’s morally courageous de-classification of those Wikileaks cables and documents have revealed to enough people on campuses like Columbia that what the U.S. military is doing around the world contradicts the humanistic values and democratic moral values that most students and professors and workers at Columbia and Barnard have, historically, been brought up to adhere to. And that, therefore, the U.S. military still does not belong on Columbia University’s campus in 2011. (end of interview)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Columbia University Journalism School's Washington Post-CIA-FBI-New America Foundation Connection

Before being named by Washington Post Company board member Lee Bollinger to be the new Dean of Columbia University’s “Washington Post Journalism School" former Washington Post managing editor Steve Coll spent 5 years as the president of the financially secretive New America Foundation [whose board chairman is Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt].

Coincidentally, when Columbia University School of Journalism Dean-Designate Coll was the New America Foundation president, the New America Foundation apparently hired former CIA Counterterrorist Center Deputy Director and former FBI Senior Intelligence Adviser Philip Mudd as a New America Foundation “Senior Research Fellow, Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative.” As the New America Foundation’s own website notes:

“…Philip Mudd studies issues of counterterrorism…with the Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative.

“Mr. Mudd joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1985 as an analyst specializing in South Asia and then the Middle East. He began work in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center in 1992 and then served on the National Intelligence Council as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia (1995-98). After a tour as an executive assistant in the front office of the Agency’s analytic arm, Mr. Mudd went on to manage Iraq analysis at the CIA (1999-2001).

“He began a policy assignment at the White House in early 2001, detailed from CIA to serve as the Director for Gulf Affairs on the White House National Security Council. He left after...September 11...for a short assignment as the CIA member of the small diplomatic team that helped piece together a new government for Afghanistan, and he returned to CIA in early 2002 to become second-in-charge of counterterrorism analysis in the Counterterrorist Center. He was promoted to the position of Deputy Director of the Center in 2003 and served there until 2005.

“At the establishment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Security Branch in 2005, FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed Mr. Mudd to serve as the Branch’s first-ever deputy director. He received a Presidential nomination to become Undersecretary of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security in early 2009 but later withdrew his nomination, returning to the FBI as its Senior Intelligence Adviser. Mr. Mudd resigned from government service in March 2010.

“Mr. Mudd is the recipient of numerous CIA awards and commendations, including the Director’s Award; the George H.W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism; [and] the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal…”

So don’t expect the new Dean of Columbia University’s School of Journalism to encourage journalism students at Columbia University to write many muckraking articles about either the Washington Post Company’s historic relationship with the CIA or the way that the CIA, the FBI, the New American Foundation and the Washington Post Company board of directors attempt to use the U.S. mainstream corporate media to manipulate public opinion at home and abroad in the 21st-century.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Columbia University's Apple Inc./Applegate Scandal Connection--Part 2

Apple, the world’s most profitable technology company, doesn’t design iPhones here. It doesn’t run AppleCare customer service from this city. And it doesn’t manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.

“Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states.

Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. “

--The New York Times on April 28, 2012

“…Campbell serves on several corporate boards, including Apple Inc., and is a consultant to from five to 20 other companies in any given year. He is chairman of the board of trustees at his alma mater, Columbia University…”

--The Pittsburgh Business Times on September 28, 2012

Columbia University’s Apple Inc./Applegate Scandal Connection—Part 2

The Chairman of the board of trustees of “tax-exempt” and “non-profit” Columbia University since 2005—a former Columbia University football coach named William V. Campbell—also has sat on the board of directors of Apple Inc. in recent years; and in 2012, “tax-exempt” and “non-profit” Columbia University’s board of trustees chairman apparently collected $65,000 in fees and $201,000 in stock compensation from Apple Inc. in 2012.

And, coincidentally, Apple Inc.—like “tax-exempt” and “non-profit” Columbia University—has apparently not been eager to pay a fair share of taxes in recent years. As Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski noted in an article, titled “How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes,” that appeared in the April 28, 2012 issue of the New York Times noted:

“California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.

“Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many…methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year. As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.

“…For Apple, the savings are especially alluring because the company’s profits are so high. Wall Street analysts predict Apple could earn up to $45.6 billion in its current fiscal year — which would be a record for any American business.

Apple serves as a window on how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes… Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’. (Cash taxes may include payments for multiple years.)

“Even among tech companies, Apple’s rates are low….It has…devised corporate strategies that take advantage of gaps in the tax code, according to former executives who helped create those strategies.

Apple, for instance, was among the first tech companies to designate overseas salespeople in high-tax countries in a manner that allowed them to sell on behalf of low-tax subsidiaries on other continents, sidestepping income taxes, according to former executives. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the `Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,' which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean….

“Without such tactics, Apple’s federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent. (Apple does not disclose what portion of those payments was in the United States, or what portion is assigned to previous or future years.)

“By comparison, Wal-Mart last year paid worldwide cash taxes of $5.9 billion on its booked profits of $24.4 billion, a tax rate of 24 percent, which is about average for non-tech companies.

“…While Apple contracts out much of the manufacturing and assembly of its products to other companies overseas, the majority of Apple’s executives, product designers, marketers, employees, research and development, and retail stores are in the United States. Tax experts say it is therefore reasonable to expect that most of Apple’s profits would be American as well…However, Apple’s accountants have found…ways to allocate about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower, according to corporate filings….

“In 2006, as Apple’s bank accounts and stock price were rising, company executives came here to Reno and established a subsidiary named Braeburn Capital to manage and invest the company’s cash….Today, Braeburn’s offices are down a narrow hallway inside a bland building that sits across from an abandoned restaurant….When someone in the United States buys an iPhone, iPad or other Apple product, a portion of the profits from that sale is often deposited into accounts controlled by Braeburn, and then invested in stocks, bonds or other financial instruments, say company executives. Then, when those investments turn a profit, some of it is shielded from tax authorities in California by virtue of Braeburn’s Nevada address.

“Since founding Braeburn, Apple has earned more than $2.5 billion in interest and dividend income on its cash reserves and investments around the globe. If Braeburn were located in Cupertino, where Apple’s top executives work, a portion of the domestic income would be taxed at California’s 8.84 percent corporate income tax rate.
"But in Nevada there is no state corporate income tax and no capital gains tax.

“What’s more, Braeburn allows Apple to lower its taxes in other states — including Florida, New Jersey and New Mexico — because many of those jurisdictions use formulas that reduce what is owed when a company’s financial management occurs elsewhere…. But some in California are unhappy that Apple and other California-based companies have moved financial operations to tax-free states — particularly since lawmakers have offered them tax breaks to keep them in the state.

“In 1996, 1999 and 2000, for instance, the California Legislature increased the state’s research and development tax credit, permitting hundreds of companies, including Apple, to avoid billions in state taxes, according to legislative analysts. Apple has reported tax savings of $412 million from research and development credits of all sorts since 1996.

"Then, in 2009, after an intense lobbying campaign led by Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Intel and other companies, the California Legislature reduced taxes for corporations based in California but operating in other states or nations. Legislative analysts say the change will eventually cost the state government about $1.5 billion a year.

“Such lost revenue is one reason California now faces a budget crisis, with a shortfall of more than $9.2 billion in the coming fiscal year alone. The state has cut some health care programs, significantly raised tuition at state universities, cut services to the disabled and proposed a $4.8 billion reduction in spending on kindergarten and other grades.

"Apple declined to comment on its Nevada operations….

“…Apple’s decisions have yielded benefits. After announcing one of the best quarters in its history last week, the company said it had net profits of $24.7 billion on revenues of $85.5 billion in the first half of the fiscal year, and more than $110 billion in the bank, according to company filings….

“While Apple’s Reno office helps the company avoid state taxes, its international subsidiaries — particularly the company’s assignment of sales and patent royalties to other nations — help reduce taxes owed to the American and other governments.

"For instance, one of Apple’s subsidiaries in Luxembourg, named iTunes S.à r.l., has just a few dozen employees…The advantages of Luxembourg are simple, say Apple executives. The country has promised to tax the payments collected by Apple and numerous other tech corporations at low rates if they route transactions through Luxembourg. Taxes that would have otherwise gone to the governments of Britain, France, the United States and dozens of other nations go to Luxembourg instead, at discounted rates.

“`We set up in Luxembourg because of the favorable taxes,’ said Robert Hatta, who helped oversee Apple’s iTunes retail marketing and sales for European markets until 2007….

“An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the Luxembourg operations…. Apple, say former executives, has been particularly talented at identifying…tax loopholes…In the 1980s, for instance, Apple was among the first major corporations to designate overseas distributors as `commissionaires’” rather than retailers, said Michael Rashkin, Apple’s first director of tax policy, who helped set up the system before leaving in 1999….The structure allowed a salesman in high-tax Germany, for example, to sell computers on behalf of a subsidiary in low-tax Singapore. Hence, most of those profits would be taxed at Singaporean, rather than German, rates.

“In the late 1980s, Apple was among the pioneers in creating a tax structure — known as the Double Irish — that allowed the company to move profits into tax havens around the world, said Tim Jenkins, who helped set up the system as an Apple European finance manager until 1994.

Apple created two Irish subsidiaries — today named Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International — and built a glass-encased factory amid the green fields of Cork. The Irish government offered Apple tax breaks in exchange for jobs, according to former executives with knowledge of the relationship.

“But the bigger advantage was that the arrangement allowed Apple to send royalties on patents developed in California to Ireland….As a result, some profits were taxed at the Irish rate of approximately 12.5 percent, rather than at the American statutory rate of 35 percent…. Moreover, the second Irish subsidiary — the `Double’ — allowed other profits to flow to tax-free companies in the Caribbean. Apple has assigned partial ownership of its Irish subsidiaries to Baldwin Holdings Unlimited in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven, according to documents filed there and in Ireland. Baldwin Holdings has no listed offices or telephone number, and its only listed director is Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, who lives and works in Cupertino….

“Finally, because of Ireland’s treaties with European nations, some of Apple’s profits could travel virtually tax-free through the Netherlands — the Dutch Sandwich — which made them essentially invisible to outside observers and tax authorities….

“…Tax experts say that strategies like the Double Irish help explain how Apple has managed to keep its international taxes to 3.2 percent of foreign profits last year, to 2.2 percent in 2010, and in the single digits for the last half-decade, according to the company’s corporate filings.

Apple declined to comment on its operations in Ireland, the Netherlands and the British Virgin Islands.

“Apple reported in its last annual disclosures that $24 billion — or 70 percent — of its total $34.2 billion in pretax profits were earned abroad, and 30 percent were earned in the United States…. If profits were evenly divided between the United States and foreign countries, Apple’s federal tax bill would have increased by about $2.4 billion last year…

“…Apple, which holds $74 billion offshore, last year aligned itself with more than four dozen companies and organizations urging Congress for a “repatriation holiday” that would permit American businesses to bring money home without owing large taxes…. The tax break would cost the federal government $79 billion over the next decade, according to a Congressional report….”

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Columbia University's Apple Inc./Applegate Scandal Connection--Part 1

William V. Campbell…has been on Apple’s board since 1997…He chairs the Columbia board of trustees…Unless you work in the Valley, you’ve probably never head of Campbell—and he does everything he can to keep it that way…Why doesn’t he want his fingerprints on the many ways he’s influencing Silicon Valley, which include…product development at Apple?...

Campbell has helped build Google’s board (which shares two directors with Apple)…John Sculley, who…left Pepsi to be CEO of Apple and whose brother-in-law was a Campbell buddy, persuaded him to take a job at Apple in 1983…Campbell took over Apple’s software unit Claris…Campbell…is worth at least $200 million, an estimated based in part on his Apple and Intuit stockholdings….

University President Lee Bollinger invited Campbell to join Columbia’s board in 2003—and 2 years later the board chose him as chairman…focused…on Columbia’s ambitious expansion efforts…:”

(Fortune magazine, 7/21/08)

“In the last decade, Apple has become one of the…richest…companies in the world…However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions…Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms…Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products…Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens, Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside that Chengdu plant…

“`We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on,’ said one former Apple executive who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. `Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.’

“…Apple was provided with extensive summaries of this article, but the company declined to comment… “

(The New York Times, 1/25/12)

Columbia University’s Apple Inc./Applegate Scandal Connection—Part 1

The Chairman of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees, William Campbell, sits on the board of directors of a transnational corporation, Apple Inc., that has been accused by a coalition of human rights and labor rights groups, led by the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, of not providing a living wage for workers in China, using involuntary labor through a student worker intern program and “enormous greed.” As an “Open Letter” to a colleague on the Apple Inc. board of directors of Columbia University Board of Trustees Chair William CampbellApple Inc. CEO Tim Cook—stated:

“We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations and labour unions, demand that Apple ensure decent working conditions at all its suppliers.

“When confronted with escalating criticism of Apple’s unethical labour practices, you responded, `We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern.’ But promises without action are merely empty rhetoric. In fact, none of the workers whom Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) interviewed reported feeling that Apple cares about them. In contrast, they describe their daily routine as work, eat and sleep. They described themselves as machines that repeated the same monotonous motion for thousands times a day….

“In 2010-2011, SACOM issued five research reports that documented labour rights violations at Apple suppliers in China, including Foxconn and Wintek. These violations are systemic problems, not isolated or unrelated incidents. We are frustrated with Apple’s continued failure to implement institutional reforms to protect the rights of workers in its supply chain.

“The size of Apple’s bank account demonstrates the enormous greed and desire for profit of Apple and its executive. On 19 March 2012, Apple announced that it would finally share some of its $100 billion in cash reserves with shareholders. It is regrettable that Apple did not show any intention to share the revenue with its production workers whose labour helped the company become one of the most profitable corporations in the world.

"In early 2012, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s profit margin was as high as 30%, while the profit margin of Foxconn, its main supplier, was a mere 1.5%. Yet, the wages at Apple’s suppliers are so low that the only way for workers to feed their families is through overtime, often well in excess of the legal maximum. In 2011, the monthly basic salary of the workers who produced the iPhones and iPads in China was as low as CNY 850 (USD 134) and CNY 950 (USD 150), respectively. Although Foxconn subsequently implemented a minor wage increase, the company also eliminated subsidies for workers’ food and housing, virtually cancelling any impact of the wage increase….

“In 2011, a typical work shift for Foxconn workers was 10 hours per day, 6-7 days a week in the peak season. Therefore, overtime work could be as high as 100 hours per month, almost 3 times the legal standard. Sometimes, workers must skip their second meal break in order to reach the factory’s production target. Workers reported that overtime work is mandatory and that if they fail to show up for one of the overtime shifts without the permission of the supervisor, it is considered a work stoppage. As punishment, the worker will not be given any overtime work for the following month. The implication of this is that the worker will only be able to earn the base salary, which is not enough for basic survival.

“In the lead-up to the new iPad release in March 2012, some migrant Foxconn workers in Shenzhen complained that they were not able to go back to their hometown for the Chinese New Year holiday – often their only opportunity each year to visit family in their home villages. They were only permitted five days of vacation, barely enough for travel time alone, making it impossible to go home to see their families…

“In 2009, nearly 140 workers at the Wintek factory in China were poisoned by n-hexane, a chemical used for cleaning the touchscreens of iPhones. Some of the victims were hospitalized for more than nine months due to nerve damage…. Besides occupational illness, industrial injuries at Apple suppliers are equally appalling. In May 2011, a deadly explosion occurred in the polishing department at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, killing four workers and injuring 18. Seven months later, another blast occurred at another Apple supplier, Riteng Computer Accessory in Shanghai. 59 workers were injured and several suffered facial disfigurement and broken bones as a result. Both explosions were triggered by the excessive build-up of combustible aluminium dust in the air on the shop floor. The explosion at Foxconn could have been prevented, as SACOM had publicly reported on the problem of aluminium dust two weeks before the tragedy. Yet, Apple ignored SACOM’s warning. Tragically, Apple refused to take action following the first explosion, resulting in the accumulation of aluminium dust and subsequent explosion in Riteng…

We strongly demand that Apple:

1. Provide a living wage for all workers so they do not have to work excessive overtime hours in order to support themselves and their families;

2. End the use of involuntary labour that occurs through the student worker intern program;

3. Conduct labour rights training for workers, including training on occupational health and safety;

4. Facilitate the formation of a genuine trade union through democratic election;

5. Compensate victims of non-compliance with the Apple code of conduct….”

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 7

At Columbia SDS’s general assembly meeting a day or two later, I summarized my IDA research for the rank-and-file members who had shown up for the meeting, and someone nominated me for a Columbia SDS steering committee position. I was elected to the steering committee and was re-elected the following year. Were it not for my discovery of Columbia’s IDA ties, I would not have been elected to the Columbia SDS steering committee.

At this same meeting, Teddy was elected Columbia SDS chairman for the 1967-68 academic year and Ted was elected vice-chairman for the same period. Since Teddy and Ted were the only Columbia College juniors in the New Left faction who were willing to take on these posts, they were elected without any significant opposition within the Columbia SDS chapter. Because Teddy was considered to be both a more charismatic orator and a more popular New Left personality on campus than Ted, nobody suggested that Ted—not Teddy—might be the more appropriate choice for Columbia SDS chairman.

Teddy arranged to have a few hundred copies of the Columbia-IDA expose’ printed up and circulated around campus. Columdia Spectator printed a letter to the editor that I had written them a month earlier because now I suddenly had more intellectual status with them. Viet Report suddenly acknowledged receipt of an excerpt from my anti-war play, The Barrier, which I had mailed them months before, after Klare mentioned my name in an article he wrote for Viet Report about IDA.

I started to work more closely with Teddy who, in his early days as Columbia SDS chairman, was very energetic and enthusiastic about doing campus organizing. Because Nancy continued to always be at Teddy’s side, I bumped into her often and continued to find her quite attractive on an emotional, intellectual, political and physical level, the more I spoke with her and worked closely with her and Teddy. I worked with the Schneiders on writing leaflets which described Columbia-IDA ties and used the IDA complicity issue to raise the political consciousness of the liberal Columbia and Barnard students about the true nature of the U.S. university. I started to get friendlier with more Barnard members of Columbia SDS with whom I worked, attended meetings with or met in libraries, at SDS parties, at SDS cultural events or just walking around campus.

Most Columbia SDS cultural events were set up by Morris, who had entered Columbia the same term I had. Morris was a red diaper baby who, as a freshman, had worked hard setting up benefit film showings and sliding leaflets under dormitory room doors for the Independent Committee on Viet Nam. As a freshman, I had joined him in shoving leaflets under dorm room doors in John Jay Hall one night. Like most other Columbia leftist students, Morris had left the ICV for Columbia SDS in Fall 1966.

Within Columbia SDS, Morris was the guy in whose name rooms for Columbia SDS film showings and cultural events were reserved. Morris was also the guy who took care of placing ads in Spectator for Columbia SDS cultural front events. Films on Viet Nam narrated by Bertrand Russell, Soviet films like Potemkin and Italian films like The Organizer with Marcello Mastroianni were booked by Morris for various evening fundraising or free SDS cultural events on campus.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 6

In March 1967, the editorial offices of Columbia Daily Spectator were located on the third floor of Ferris Booth Hall. With Mike Klare, who had previously shared his research on Columbia’s classified Electronics Research Lab [ERL] and Office of Naval research work with Spectator, I walked into the student newspaper office, the expose’ in my hand.

One of the new staff editors of Spectator, Robert, was sitting in his office. Robert was from Great Neck, which was on the other side of the highway from the Little Neck-Douglaston neighborhood in which I had spent most of my childhood. Great Neck was a much wealthier, more upper-middle-class neighborhood than the affluent Jewish working-class ghetto-development I had grown up in. Great Neck was where Little Neck and Douglaston girls from my side of the Long Island Expressway went to receive orthodontic work for their teeth.

Although Robert had apparently picketed Woolworth’s as a high school student as part of a civil rights demonstration, he had not been active in either the Columbia Citizenship Council or in the anti-war movement on campus.

“The Columbia SDS Research Committee has discovered something interesting,” Klare said to Robert. “When I asked Grad School Dean Halford a few weeks ago at a forum whether there existed an institutional connection between the Institute for Defense Analyses and Columbia University, he lied. He said `There is no institutional connection between Columbia University and the Institute for Defense Analyses.’ But the Columbia SDS Research Committee has found that Columbia is institutionally connected to the Institute for Defense Analyses.”

In the Spectator office with Robert at the time was a Spectator reporter named Jerry. Robert handed the expose’ to Jerry, and then told Klare and me to talk with Jerry about our discovery. Then Robert went back to editing newspaper copy. Jerry quickly skimmed through the eight-page research paper and noticed that another IDA Trustee, besides Columbia President Kirk, was a man named William A.M. Burden.

“Hey! This IDA Trustee William A.M. Burden is also a Columbia Trustee!” Jerry exclaimed with glee in his voice. Jerry was a boyish, pre-med major and sophomore from Hewlett, Long Island.

Jerry then went to Spectator’s trustees file and pulled out a glossy photograph of Burden. (Further research on my part revealed that Burden was also a director of Lockheed, American Metal Climax and CBS. Additional research later revealed that Burden was one of the 20th-century heirs to the fortune of robber-baron Cornelius Vanderbilt).

“Can I borrow this copy of your paper to use when I write the Spectator article on the SDS discovery?” Jerry asked.

“Sure,” I answered.

“Come by and pick it up tonight after dinner in my dormitory room,” Jerry added. He then gave me his dorm room number. He lived in the Hartley-Livingston Hall complex. Klare and I then left the Spectator offices and I went to one of my scheduled classes.

That evening, I dropped by Jerry’s dorm room. In the room with Jerry was his roommate, a Columbia College sophomore named Dan. Both Jerry and Dan seemed interested in talking with me about politics. After talking with them both about Columbia and IDA, Dan and I got into a discussion about New Left politics and radical social change. I asked Dan why he didn’t join SDS, since he seemed to be strongly against the war in Viet Nam and against the U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy.

“I’m a Marxist, too. And I seek the same radical change in U.S. society that SDS wants. But I think the best strategy is to infiltrate existing institutions and not let people know you’re a Marxist. Then, once you’re in power within Establishment institutions, you can use your power to really make radical change. That’s what I’m going to try to do with my life. I’m going to secretly work from within to radically change U.S. society,” Dan answered.

“I don’t think you can really change U.S. society by working from within the corrupt U.S. social institutions—even if you are a Marxist who sees working from within as just a political tactic. I think we always have to be open about what we believe in politically, all the time, in order to really change U.S. society. But I wish you luck,” I replied.

[Ironically, in the 1980s Dan became the first “Marxist” chairperson of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Corrections, in charge of making the state’s prison system work more efficiently; and in 1989 he unsuccessfully ran for the office of Brooklyn District Attorney in the Democratic Party primary and apparently allowed his supporters to wage a homophobic campaign].

Spectator printed a one-column front-page article which noted that Columbia SDS had discovered Columbia’s IDA affiliation, despite Dean Halford’s earlier denial of any such connection. At the Columbia SDS steering committee meeting it was decided to have Evansohn read the paper I had written at an SDS teach-in that was being held around this time.

Just before he read the paper at the McMillan Theatre teach-in, in front of a few hundred people, Evansohn urged me to read it myself. But I was reluctant to stand up before that large a group of people and speak, at that time. I also felt that since Evansohn was more a part of Columbia SDS’s leadership at that time than I was, his reading the Columbia-IDA expose’ would be a more politically effective and impressive act than my reading of it. Evansohn read the expose’ before the teach-in audience and people at the teach-in were angered by the new revelations regarding Columbia’s complicity with the Pentagon.

The following week, Evansohn and I went to Dean Halford’s office in Low Library on behalf of Columbia SDS. We asked him to urge Grayson Kirk to immediately announce that Columbia would resign its institutional membership in the IDA as a protest against the continued U.S. military intervention in Viet Nam. Halford appeared to be in his late 50s, wore glasses, spoke in either a Midwestern or modified Southern accent and was polite. But he was defensive about Columbia’s IDA ties. He tried to minimize the significance of Columbia’s IDA affiliation and to justify his refusal to acknowledge Columbia’s IDA ties at the Low Library forum. Halford also indicated that it was going to be Columbia Administration policy to continue its IDA membership—Viet Nam War or no Viet Nam War.

As we walked down the steps of Low Library, both dissatisfied with Dean Halford’s response to Columbia SDS’s formal demand for institutional disaffiliation from IDA, Evansohn said to me the following:

“That’s all you can ever expect from a liberal bureaucrat.”

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 5

After smoking with Ted once, I was no longer reluctant to share a pipe of grass or a joint with the anti-war heads to whom I rapped politically about SDS within the Columbia dorms. Most of the Columbia students I turned on with used pipes or water pipes, not joints. By breaking the law together and smoking together, not just talking politics or developing organizer-organized relationships, I and the Columbia students I turned on with in 1967 ended up feeling emotionally closer after each political discussion/pot smoking session.

I enjoyed smoking pot because I think it made me more open emotionally, helped bring me closer to people and made me feel emotionally high more intensely and quickly than the alternative methods I had been using. When I turned on, I felt even more of a generalized love for people of my generation than I felt when straight. I enjoyed the ritual of sharing pipes and joints with each other. I considered myself more of a head than a doper and I always found it most meaningful to turn on with leftist or anti-war heads than to smoke with purely apolitical dopers. In 1967 and 1968, nearly everybody within Columbia’s dormitories was smoking pot at least occasionally, and many students were constantly tripping. It was a common sight in the non-coed dormitories to see tripping, long-haired hippies like Elliot or Fletcher wandering aimlessly around the halls or campus at night, off in their own world, with eyes shining in a mystical way.

The love vibrations on campus seemed to intensify for awhile. People seemed to be more open to getting sexually or emotionally involved with each other in a more rapid way than they were in the early 1960s. Large numbers of students, influenced by the effects of pot and LSD, started to drop out spiritually from the achievement-oriented, yuppie-careerist track which had channeled them to elitist universities like Columbia. Pot and acid, and the sensations and insights that pot and acid induced, seemed to reveal the idiocy and superficial nature of all those straight careers and academic life options baby boom people had been programmed to fit into. There was some relationship between the growth of student radicalism and the spread of hedonistic grass and drug-use. But the excessive usage of pot and drugs also tended to depoliticize large numbers of politically-inclined bohemian youth, as well.

Hard-core New Left people at Columbia, however, were able to smoke pot regularly with each other without becoming less politically active. One theory was that if a person was already a leftist and had leftist moral values, grass usage would not de-politicize him or her. But if a person wasn’t already a leftist and didn’t have a strong sense of humanistic moral values, grass usage would tend to turn that person away from political activism and more towards just amoral hedonism and freer sexuality.

Around the same time I showed the paper on Columbia’s IDA ties to Columbia SDS people, I also brought a carbon copy of the paper to the office of Columbia Professor of English Hovde. Professor Hovde had worked with Columbia SDS’s multi-organizational coalition on the anti-class-ranking campaign because he wished to “keep Columbia pure” in relationship to contact with the U.S. war machine. So I figured Professor Hovde and other Columbia faculty members might want to speak out against Columbia’s IDA ties and push the Administration to disaffiliate, before Columbia SDS needed to start an anti-IDA organizing campaign.

“I’ll have to think about this issue, Mr. Friedman, before I decide my position on this,” Hovde replied after I told him what was contained in the Columbia-IDA expose’ I had written, and he had taken a quick glance at the first two pages, before quickly handing the paper back to me.

“My last name is Feldman, not Friedman,” I replied.

“Oh, I beg your pardon. But thanks for telling me about this.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 4

I met Josh in the Furnald Hall lobby and gave him a copy of the completed IDA-Columbia connection expose’. He shared the paper with a number of Columbia SDS steering committee members during a meeting which was held at Teddy’s apartment during the spring semester break. I did not attend this meeting because I went out to my parents’ apartment in Queens during this spring break. I spent the break catching up somewhat on my required academic work and driving up to Boston for a day with my parents to visit my sister, who was now living in a rooming house in Beacon Hill (in the days before all of Beacon Hill again became gentrified).

After I returned to my dormitory room, there was another Columbia SDS steering committee meeting in Earl Hall. A consensus developed that Spectator’s editors should be told about the weapons-research sponsorship activity of Columbia. It was agreed that Mike Klare should bring the expose’ to Spectator’s editorial offices with me. At a faculty-sponsored forum on University-Pentagon ties the previous week, Klare had asked Columbia’s Dean of Graduate Faculties, Ralph Halford, whether any institutional connection existed between Columbia and the Institute for Defense Analyses. Dean Halford’s reply to Klare at that time was: “There is no institutional connection.”

Klare had vaguely heard about IDA before, which is why he asked the question regarding its possible institutional connection to Columbia. But Klare did not know exactly how IDA had been set up and functioned until he, afterwards, heard that I had made the IDA-Columbia affiliation discovery. So when Dean Halford lied at the forum about Columbia’s true relationship to IDA, Klare mistakenly assumed Halford was stating the truth.

Prior to bringing Spectator the expose’ of Columbia’s IDA tie, I went to Ted’s dorm room to let him read the expose’. He had missed the steering committee meeting in which the expose’ had been passed around because he had been away from New York during the spring break.

After I had sat down on the chair in Ted’s dorm room, he smiled and said: “Let me see the paper you wrote that I heard about.”

I smiled in return and handed him the expose’. Ted began to read with great interest. After he had finished reading the last page, he turned to me and said: “That bastard. Kirk really is a bastard!”

We then smoked some marijuana together and listened to some of his early Rolling Stones, early Dylan, early Judy Collins, early Supremes and Beatles albums, as well as to the Dionne Warwick album in which she sang “Walk On By.” A few weeks before I discovered Columbia’s IDA connection, I had started to smoke marijuana with Ted.

Prior to February 1967, I felt that—like liquor—pot and all drugs should be legally sold and all people should have the right to smoke and use drugs, as well as to drink, without fear of arrest. But, personally, I felt smoking pot was not for leftists because it could give the government a pretext for arresting an activist on non-political grounds and because, like religion, it was an escapist way to deal with an oppressive reality. When political activism wasn’t fulfilling me emotionally and I was feeling trapped and unloved, I would escape with my songwriting, guitar-playing and singing and “get high” by being creative and artistic. I had no sense before smoking pot of how intense a feeling the weed produced and that a marijuana high was qualitatively more of a turn-on than a creative high. My pre-February 1967, somewhat puritanical, attitude resembled the anti-bohemian Old Left middle-class attitude toward marijuana that Ted’s parents had, and that Ted originally had.

When Ted started to smoke pot heavily in late 1966, however, I started to reconsider my attitude towards grass because he was the first “head” I knew who remained as politically active after he started to turn on as he was before he started smoking. So, finally, I ended up spending one Friday night and early Saturday morning turning on with Ted, Brian and another guy who lived on Ted’s dorm floor, named Waller.

“It really is absurd that it’s illegal to smoke pot,” I said with laughter, once the grass started to affect me and make me high and really happy and full of laughter.

“Yeah. The Old Left’s line on grass is totally absurd,” Ted replied with a laugh. Then I played him a song satirizing the Marine Corps that I had written to counter the pro-militarist “Ballad of the Green Berets,” accompanying myself on my guitar. The song included the following lyrics:

We are Marines
The best of men
America’s freedom
We do defend….

Charlie Whitman
An ex-Marine
Climbed to a tower
And killed thirteen….

It also included verses about ex-Marines Richard Speck and Howard Unruh, both of whom were also mass murderers in civilian life, and verses about Byron de la Beckwith, the ex-Marine killer of Medgar Evers, and ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald.

After I finished singing the song, Ted laughed and commented:

“That’s a great song. Except for the part about Oswald. He really didn’t kill Kennedy, you know. Mark Lane’s written a whole book exposing the whole Warren Commission cover-up.”

“You really think Oswald was framed?”

“From what I’ve read about all the contradictions in the Warren Commission Report, it looks like he was.”

While stoned, Ted would talk much more rapidly than when he was straight. But he still spoke about New Left radicalism, U.S. culture, Columbia politics, U.S. and world politics and questions related to socialism, capitalism, Maoism, Marxism, Cuba, Black liberation and revolution in an enthusiastic way—in-between listening to record albums.

Still stoned in the early hours of Saturday morning, Ted, Brian and I headed for Duke’s Restaurant on West 112th St. and Broadway—which was open 24 hours a day—and ate an early morning breakfast. After breakfast, as the sun was rising, Brian walked back towards his apartment on West 114th St. and Ted and I walked back towards Furnald Hall. Seeing a bundle of that day’s New York Times which had been dropped off in the early morning hours, in front of a closed Broadway newsstand, Ted ripped apart the string that tied the bundle together and helped himself to two copies of the newspaper, before walking back onto the campus. He gave me one of the newspapers and then we each went back to our dorm rooms, to sleep until late Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 3

After completing the research paper, I wrote a folk song condemning both Columbia’s complicity with the Pentagon and U.S scientists who immorally served the U.S. war machine. The folk song, patterned somewhat after Dylan’s “Masters of War,” was titled “Bloody Minds” and contained the following lyrics:

Come, you bloody minds
Look what I done find
I done did research
IDA exists
Laugh between your walls
Sit behind your desks
Watch your missiles fall
IDA exists.

The value-free school
Your mask we see right through
The weapons of the Pentagon
Their brains procured by you.

Godly Grayson Kirk
On the board he knits
Smokes upon his pipe
While his bombers bite
Problems he assigns:
“How to make men die?”
Professors they plan
Death for Viet Nam.

In ’56 to serve Defense
Five schools they did combine
Four years later
It joined the bloody minds.

City slums they rot
People live in lots
Atoms to destroy
They’re your little toys
Oh, they pay you well
To create a hell
Did you see the news?
Twelve women they slew.

A division
Its name Jason
In summer they study
They meet, they talk
They plan, they plot

Lovers they must part
Lamps they now are dark
Knowledge turned to swords
Kirk sits on the board
Schools changed into guns
For the Pentagon
Students now they learn:
How to make kids burn.

You stand in class
You spout your facts
A noble scientist
But then at night
You join the fight
You do secret research.

Murder poor peasants
With the tools you sent
Orphan thin children
Help the bastards win
Kill them with your mind
Paralyze their spines
Someday you will die
And in slime you’ll lie.

Prior to March 1967, IDA had rarely been mentioned in the U.S. Establishment mass media or in the left, underground or campus press. A few Establishment magazine articles on IDA had appeared between 1956 and 1967 and IDA had been mentioned in a few books for academic specialists published by university presses. But the New York Times had barely acknowledged its existence. The Rand Institute, not the Institute for Defense Analyses, was the military-oriented think-tank that had received most of the Establishment mass media publicity prior to March 1967. After March 1967, IDA began to receive more mention in the Columbia Daily Spectator and in left newspapers and magazines like New Left Notes, the Worker, the [U.S.] Guardian and Viet Report. But the U.S. Establishment’s mass media still refused to mention IDA. After my name appeared in some leftist publications in reference to the Columbia-IDA revelation, the FBI opened a file on me and started to investigate me using information provided by the Columbia University Registrar’s Office, according to my de-classified FBI files.

Columbia’s IDA affiliation came to also symbolize the degree to which Columbia University’s research budget was dependent on receiving Pentagon basic and unsolicited research contracts. Like most elite U.S. universities, Columbia was dependent on corporate research funds and Pentagon research funds for financing much of its institutional research activity.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Columbia SDS Memories Revisited: Discovering IDA, 1967--Part 2

The Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] Annual Reports also revealed that Columbia University President Grayson Kirk was not only a trustee of IDA, but was also on the executive committee of IDA’s board of trustees. They described and bragged about the military applications of weapons research work that, under university sponsorship, IDA research workers engaged in at IDA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, in cooperation with Pentagon officials, using language like the following:

“As the oldest division of the Institute, the Weapons Systems Evaluation Division [WSED] celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. During the past decade, the primary WSED mission has been to conduct analyses and evaluations of operational and future weapons systems for the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group [WSEG] in response to the needs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, and other components of the Office of the Secretary of Defense…Added emphasis has in recent years been placed on studies of military logistics and operations in Southeast Asia and on studies of anti-submarine warfare….

“During the past year, the Division continued its substantial efforts in evaluating ballistic missile capabilities. It also studied low-altitude aircraft operation from both offensive and defensive points of view…studied fire support of counterinsurgency situations…Other studies that were completed during the year dealt with various topics, including…Southeast Asia problems….

“The mission of the Research and Engineering Support Division [RSED] is to analyze natural phenomena and to evaluate systems that are of particular interest to the national security.
“…The Division carried out intensive studies of problems of tactical warfare and remote area conflict…

“Several of the study groups in tactical warfare systems focused on…the possibilities of airborne television reconnaissance at night, and potential methods for personnel protection, particularly for counterinsurgency operations. One of the operations research projects that was carried out was concerned with available data bases for counterinsurgency operations….”

The Annual Reports also noted that IDA’s university ties were important because it enabled the Pentagon to more easily recruit university professors to perform weapons research work who might have objected to working with a purely U.S. military-directed, non-university-affiliated organization, in language like the following:

“The Jason Division was created in 1958 as an attempt to expose outstanding university scientists—mostly physicists—to critical defense needs in the belief that they could make significant contributions to the solution of defense problems…The intent of this experimental approach was to provide a mechanism to make available to outstanding university scientists an opportunity to work regularly but not exclusively on problems of importance to the national security in a way that would not exact a career penalty.”

The Annual Reports also revealed that eleven other major universities besides Columbia—M.I.T., Princeton, Penn State, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of California at Berkeley, Tulane, Stanford, University of Illinois, Case Western Reserve and the California Institute of Technology—were also institutional members of IDA. Finally, the Annual Reports indicated that IDA’s Jason Division, which consisted of university professors, met each summer to collectively perform practically applicable counter-insurgency weapons research, using language like the following:

“In 1964 a new excursion was made. Increased Government attention to such problems as counterinsurgency, insurrection, and infiltration led to the suggestion that Jason members might be able to provide fresh insight into problems that are not entirely in the realm of physical science.”

At least three Columbia University professors, Leon Lederman, Henry Foley and a Professor of Mathematics named Bernard Koopman, were listed as being IDA Jason Division weapons development researchers.

I took a lot of notes and by the following weekend the “Columbia SDS Research Committee” paper which exposed Columbia’s IDA ties was written up and typed. In Spring 1967 there wasn’t really a “Columbia SDS Research Committee.” But because I wished to emphasize the importance of Columbia SDS, not my own individual contribution, I credited the “Columbia SDS Research Committee” with authorship of the paper.