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In The Pay of Foundations—Part 14

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a "parallel left" media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
When the Ford Foundation helped fund Democracy Now! between 1998 and 2004, not much historical information about Henry Ford, the Ford Foundation or past Ford Foundation presidents--like a former Kennedy and Johnson White House National Security Affairs Advisor during the Vietnam War Era named McGeorge Bundy-- was provided to Democracy Now! listeners and viewers. But as U.S. antiwar movement activist David Dellinger wrote in his 1993 autobiography, From Yale to Jail:

"Given the U.S. preoccupation with Vietnamese war crimes trials, when [Telford] Taylor [the U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials] returned from his visit to [North Vietnam], he was pressed by Dick Cavett on Cavett's popular TV show to say whether under Nuremberg statutes... McGeorge Bundy... would be adjudged guilty off war crimes. His answer was, `Yes, of course.'"

Yet for 13 years McGeorge Bundy, was the Ford Foundation's president. As James Ledbetter recalled in his book Made Possible By... :

"The Ford effort took a new twist in 1966, when the Foundation began plotting a system that would unite satellite communication with educational broadcasting. McGeorge Bundy, the former national security advisor who had personally ordered American bombing raids on North Vietnam in early 1965, left the government and moved to the Ford Foundation to oversee this plan...Bundy obtained his position without being knowledgeable about, or even comfortable with, the medium of television..."

In a Sept. 26, 1996 press release that was issued by the Ford Foundation only two years before the foundation issued its 1998 grant of $75,000 [equal to over $114,000 in 2018] to the Pacifica Foundation "toward marketing consultancy, promotional campaign and program development activities for radio program, DEMOCRACY NOW!," following its former long-time president's death, the Trustees of the Ford Foundation stated:

"The Trustees of the Ford Foundation are deeply saddened by the death of McGeorge Bundy on September 16 [1996]. Mr. Bundy served as President of the Foundation from 1966 to 1979. He forged new lines of work in such critically important areas as civil rights, overseas development, and security and arms control. His intellect, candor, and high standards left an indelible mark on the Foundation's culture. The work of the Foundation today builds on Mac's legacy and we are in his debt."

But evidence exists that former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy was apparently one of the White House officials responsible for planning crimes against humanity during the Vietnam War Era, in violation of the Nuremberg Accords.

On May 11, 1961, for instance, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum 52" which approved a program for covert action against North Vietnam that included forming "network of resistance, covert bases and teams for sabotage and light harassment" in North Vietnam. And on Sept. 10, 1964, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum No. 314," which approved the resumption of naval patrols and covert maritime operations off the coast of North Vietnam.

According to The Pentagon Papers, each maritime operation against North Vietnam after October 1964 had to be approved in advance by former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy. And among the maritime operations approved in advance by the now-deceased former Ford Foundation president were "ship-to-shore bombardment of North Vietnam radar site" and "underwater demolition team assaults on bridges along coastal roads, bridges and rails" in North Vietnam.

In a Feb. 7, 1965 memorandum to Democratic Party Leader Lyndon Johnson, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy next recommended that the U.S. adopt "a policy of `sustained reprisal'" against North Vietnam; and on March 2, 1965 the Johnson White House's "Rolling Thunder" bombing campaign against North Vietnam was begun.

On Apr. 6, 1965, former Ford Foundation President Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum No. 328," in which he stated:

"We should continue roughly the present slowly ascending tempo of ROLLING THUNDER Operation...We should continue to vary the type of target, stepping up attack on lines of communication in the near future, and possibly moving in a few weeks to attacks on the rail lines north and northeast of Hanoi.

"Leaflet operations should be expanded to obtain maximum practicable psychological effect on the North Vietnamese population.

"Blockade or aerial mining of North Vietnamese ports needs further study and should be considered for future operations...Air operations in Laos...should be stepped up to the maximum remunerative rate..."

By the time McGeorge Bundy retired as Ford Foundation president in 1979, millions of people in Indochina and over 57,000 U.S. military personnel had lost their lives, as a result of the militaristic actions authorized by the "National Security Action Memorandum" which the former Ford Foundation president personally signed.

A few years before his death in 1996, the former Ford Foundation president had been named as a "Scholar-in-Residence" by the same Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation which was to give a $25,000 grant to Pacifica in 1996 to launch the Democracy Now! show. As the Carnegie Corporation of New York's "Scholar-in-Residence," former Ford Foundation President Bundy co-authored a 1993 book with Stanford University Professor Sidney Drell and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff William J. Crowe (who also sat on the board of directors of a Big Oil company called Texaco in the early 1990s), entitled Reducing Nuclear Danger.

In the acknowledgement section of their book, Bundy and his co-authors noted that "the book is the product of a decision in 1990 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to invite the three of us to work as co-chairmen of a Carnegie Commission on Reducing the Nuclear Danger;" and "we must express our warmest personal thanks to Dr. David A. Hamburg, the president of the Carnegie Corporation" and "the staff of the Carnegie Corporation has helped with unfailing kindness and understanding."

Former Ford Foundation President Bundy and his co-authors then expressed their support for the immoral 1991 high-technology U.S. military attack on the people of Iraq, on behalf of Big Oil's special interests, by writing:

"Saddam Hussein has provided a sharp reminder of a different nuclear danger--that nuclear weapons may come into the hands of unpredictable and adventurous rulers. We learned in Iraq that when international awareness, will, and capability are all three sufficient, it is possible to take effective action against such danger...The case of Saddam is unique both in the breadth of the international judgment that a bomb under his control would be unacceptably dangerous and in the strength of the American presence and engagement created by his aggression against Kuwait. Multinational action against the Iraqi bomb has been effective, at least in the short run..
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"It is now evident that if Saddam's effort had not been interrupted by the war he provoked, he would probably have had nuclear weapons sometime in the 1990s--quite possibly in the first half of the decade. Knowing Saddam as it now does, the world has been shocked by this narrow escape. It is not surprising that an effective consensus has developed, growing in strength as the process of inquiry and dismantling has continued in Iraq, that the international community should see to it that leaders such as Saddam do not get the bomb."

Yet three years after the former Ford Foundation president who was one of the U.S. Establishment leaders responsible for crimes against humanity in Vietnam joined his co-authors in rationalizing a pro-war policy in relation to Iraq that helped provide the pretext for the second attack on Iraq in 2003 by the U.S. War Machine, the Ford Foundation board of trustees asserted in 1996 that "the work of the Foundation today builds on Mac's legacy and we are in his debt."

Former White House National Security Affairs Adviser Bundy's successor as Ford Foundation President between 1979 and 1996 was a former U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command Captain and former New York City Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of legal matters named Franklin A. Thomas. During his 17 years as the Ford Foundation's president, Thomas also, simultaneously, served as the GOP Reagan Administration's chairman of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa and sat on the corporate boards of ALCOA, Cummins Engine, CBS and Citicorp/Citibank, whose special corporate interests the Democracy Now! show co-hosts claimed to be opposing during the 1998 and 2004 period when their show received Ford Foundation funding.

But in its 1980 edition, the Everybody's Business:An Almanac book, that Milton Moskowitz, Michael Katz and Robert Levering edited, indicated who were some of the co-directors that the former president of the Ford Foundation (who continued to serve as a Ford Foundation consultant during the late 1990s period when the foundation initially helped fund Democracy Now!) sat next to on the Citicorp/Citibank corporate board:

"Citicorp's board of directors is about as powerful a group as you're ever likely to find gathered in one place at one time. In 1980 they included the chairmen of Exxon, Standard Oil of California [Chevron], DuPont, Xerox, Monsanto, Union Pacific, Kimberly-Clark, United Technologies, J.C. Penney, Corning Glass Works... and Franklin A. Thomas, president of the Ford Foundation. Citicorp's top executives sit on the boards of such giant companies as General Electric, J.C. Penney, United Technologies, Beatrice Foods, and Sears, Roebuck... "

In addition, in its 1980 edition, the Everybody's Business book also observed that, not surprisingly, at the Levi Straus corporation in 1980, "Franklin A. Thomas, a trustee of the Ford Foundation is a director, as is Mary Lothrop Bundy, an educator and wife of the former president of the Ford Foundation, McGeorge Bundy." (end of part 14)