Libya: lies, lies and more lies


By: SR Shearer

PRAVDA: Telling the truth when the US media fails to do so


Journalist Yoshie Furuhashi writes that the United States was caught off guard by the Arab revolts in Tunisia and Egypt: at first - at a loss as to what to do - the US backed the regimes in power exactly as they were, since they had been good to them; then, seeing no way back to the status quo ante, the US began seeking a way to manage the Arab uprisings for its own purposes (the US has long cultivated assets among the oppositions precisely for this kind of eventuality). [Please see our article, "What's Happening Now in Egypt."]

It is in this context that the US decided to use what was occurring in Egypt and Tunisia as a smoke screen behind which they could topple Quadafi and seize the oil riches of Libya for themselves; to do so, the CIA encouraged a plethora of small tribes abound Benghazi in the eastern part of the country to revolt, and promised them support if they would do so.

What follows is the SHAMEFUL tale of what the US has been doing in Libya — a story that has nothing to do with "freedom and democracy" for the Libyan people and everything to do with OIL; and more than that, it reveals the ability of America's financial elites to BRAZENLY manipulate American public opinion.

Edward Bernays, in his 1928 book, Propaganda, calls this kind of "truth-telling" -

"The conscious and intelligent MANIPULATION of the ... habits and opinions of the masses ..." [That means YOU!]

Bernays saw this kind of fallacious "truth-telling" as necessary insofar as modern-day democracies were concerned - which he and his elite masters thought had taken the concept of democracy or "people power" too far. The fact is, by Bernays' time (the early 1900s) it was understood by the elites - both in Britain and the United States, supposedly the two most democratic nations in the world - that the "common people" had won too much freedom, and that a way had to be found to "manage" their freedom - i.e., to "intelligently MANIPULATE" them. Please see our articles, "The Mainline Media: One Enormous Propaganda Machine."]

NOTE: Bernays was a strong believer that people were clods, and that they could be easily manipulated - and he proved it by planning and managing a campaign for a group of cigarette companies aimed at trying to get women to smoke. He had attractive, chic-looking female models walk up and down Fifth Avenue in New York City smoking cigarettes and showing how it supposedly made them beautiful and slim.

The campaign was a smashing success, and soon thereafter the United Fruit Company hired him to help portray its economic rape of Central America as "an experiment in democracy." [For a history of the United Fruit Company's (now Dole) avaricious involvement in Central America, please see our article, "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

As you read and digest the following information, ask yourselves HONESTLY whether or not you have really understood how you are being manipulated with regard to Libya — and if the answer is, "No," then you should ask yourselves HONESTLY whether or not you will be able to escape being caught up by the "GREAT DECEPTION" of the "end of days." [Please see Chapter XIV of the New Antipas Papers, "The Great Falling Away."]

It's in the light of this that we once again URGE you to read our article, "Come Out Of Her."


Lisa Karpova (left) in North Korea where she is said to have played a "behind-the-scenes" role in freeing American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korean captivity.


Lisa Karpova from Pravda writes:

"When I hear members of the U.S. administration say that 'all options are on the table' [meaning all options are on the table for 'protecting the people of Libya' against Quadafi] I feel highly tempted to tell them exactly what they can do with that table and where they can shove it.

"The reeking, oozing hypocrisy of U.S. officials [about what the US is up to in Libya] is enough to make you want to slap them silly ... Let's cut the nonsense and get to the truth. OIL!

NOTE: On January 25, 2009, Muammar Al Gaddafi announced that his country was studying the nationalization of foreign oil companies operating in Libya (specifically, Anglo-Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, U.S. ExxonMobil, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, the Spanish Repsol, Germany's Wintershall, Austria's OMV, Norway's Statoil, Eni and Canada's Petro Canada). THIS IS THE REAL REASON THAT THE WEST HAS GONE TO WAR WITH GADDAFI!

"Libya's high-quality, low-sulfur oil is not that easily replaced by the sulphur-heavy Saudi oil, particularly in Europe, which is short of refineries. Bottom line is they want the oil. No one in the west will hear anything good said about the leader of Libya or how his country's people are better off than all in Africa and many in Europe ... The thing is, these pseudo-humanitarians [speaking here of Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy, etc.] pushing that 'something has be done' are fooling no one. This push for military intervention has nothing to do with democracy and freedom."

Karpova continues:

"The stench of western lies began the campaign for Libyan oil. The media presented false pictures. It was proven they tried to pass off pictures of what was happening in other countries saying it took place in Libya. Then there were the bogus claims of 'he's bombing his own people'."

Russian Intelligence


Bogus claims that Quadafi was bombing his own people? — Could that be true? Yes! — it's true, which exposes the very basis for the US action against Libya — i.e., the establishment of a "no-fly zone" over the country because Qadhafi was supposedly bombing his own people - as a lie.

Russian intelligence, which monitors all the airspace of North Africa and one hundred percent of Libya, proved from its records that no Libyan warplanes had taken to the sky during the time that Quadafi was supposed to be bombing his own people. At first Pentagon officials charged that the Russians were lying, and that they (the Pentagon) had pictures of Libyan planes bombing Libyan civilians, but when pressed to show them, Pentagon officials had to admit that no such images existed.

NOTE: One should be very careful not to too readily dismiss the information produced by Russian Intelligence; the very fact of the matter is, Russian Intelligence was the first worldwide intelligence agency to blow the whistle on the CIA's role in producing the AIDS and Ebola viruses. [Please see our article, "The Drug Epidemic, Viruses, Ebola and AIDS — It's Not What You Think."]

Later, the U.S. Secretary of Defense admitted that they had been less than candid with the truth, but went on to say that this action had to be taken anyway as a "preventative measure."

Bomb damage in Iraq

Karpova goes on to say,

"Don't let them fool anyone for a minute. What the Libyan people can expect if the US has its way is exactly what you can see in Iraq and Afghanistan. The total destruction of civilian infrastructure.

"To this day the [Iraqi] people are lacking basic utilities and services that they once enjoyed. Clean water and electricity? Forget it! There has been total environmental destruction with the use of depleted uranium and a tremendous rise in cancers.

 "This is the 'freedom and democracy' awaiting Libya."


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, also of Pravda, writes:

"One week after scratching beneath the surface of the myriad of events coming out of Libya, one week after we asked in this column Who or What is behind the 'uprising' against Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, the first answers begin to appear...and interesting ones they are."

Hinchey continues,

"The Libyan 'uprising' appeared a little strange from the beginning, due to the fact that it was presented as another wave of Middle East protest against corrupt regimes which held the people down, siphoned off the resources and put nothing back in return. While that was true in Tunisia and Egypt, where the "Revolutions" were concentrated in the capital cities, Libya's centre of unrest was way out East in the tribal lands of Cyrenaica. Odd...

"Cyrenaica is home to an extremely complex grouping of peoples and tribes, an ethnic reality easily and quickly exploited in many other areas of the Arab-speaking world. Around the second largest city in Libya, and capital of Cyrenaica, Benghazi, reside the Arafah, the Darsa, Abaydat, Barasa, Abiid, Awaqir, Fawakhir, Zuwayah, Mugharbah, Majabrah, Awajilah and Minifah."

The tribes centered around Benghazi (Cyrenaica) are responsible for the "rebellion against Quadafi - a revolt that has been "egged on" by US special forces and forces from Britain's elite SAS.

Hinchey goes on to list several reasons (questions) why one should be very suspicious about what the United States and its sycophants are up to in Libya.



NOTE: Questions by Hinchey are posted in black; answers to Hinchey's questions are posted in dark green.

Schools in Libya where women enjoy the same rights as men; they are among the best in the Arab world.

CIA-funded signs and banners that were pre-positioned weeks before the so-called rebellion. Note the fact that they are all in English - which means that they were created solely to influence American audiences.




"What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American Public." - Zalinksy (Dan Aykroyd) in Tommy Boy

What all this suggests is that Americans are being "taken for a ride" by America's media — and not just FOXNEWS, but CNN, MSNBS, CBS, ABC and NBC.

The fact of the matter is, the US has successfully managed to co-opt the Arab uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East by means of behind-the-scenes military putsches headed up by a junta of CIA puppet generals.

What's happening now in Libya is just the most extreme and naked example of what the US is doing; but the fact is, even in Egypt -- where the American controlled media chorus has chanted obsessively that this was one regime change in the Arab world which had been brought about by a genuinely "popular uprising" -- it's not that difficult to see the footprints of the US.

In reality, the relatively limited popular agitation in Egypt was actually the least important factor in toppling the long-serving Egyptian rais. Since there was no real mass organization capable of seizing power, and no program of economic reconstruction, development, and reform which could have united the efforts of larger sectors of the Egyptian population, Egypt was left to the tender mercies of the now standard CIA/National Endowment for Democracy color revolution, people power coup, or postmodern putsch. [Please see our article, "The AFL-CIO and Death Squads;" please also see "We Are All Being Played for Suckers."]

According to this recipe, the destabilization was begun by gathering the privileged youth of the upper middle classes — the ones with access to the Internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter — in Tahrir Square, where, despite their relatively anemic numbers in a city as big as Cairo, they provided a photo opportunity for the Al Jazeera television network, which shamelessly served as the demagogic speaking tube of American Intelligence.

The incendiary role played by Al Jazeera also reflects the strange brinksmanship currently going on in Doha, Qatar, where this network is based.

NOTE: Contrary to how Al Jazeera is portrayed in the popular media in the United States, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CIA that is based out of America's puppet-state, Qatar. It poses as an anti-US news agency, but its main reason for existence is to MANIPULATE THE NEWS TO THE ARAB PEOPLE.

The Al Jazeera headquarters building in Qatar just down the street from the American Embassy

So it was therefore the golden youth of Cairo who kept up some kind of a presence before the TV cameras, allowing the Al Jazeera agitators and provocateurs to argue that these young dupes, anarchists, and nihilists represented the incarnation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's popular will, and therefore the court of last resort for all political decisions regarding the future of Egypt. Sometimes there were only a few hundred young enthusiasts in the square, but for Al Jazeera they were the supreme oracle of what Egypt wanted.

Egypt has upwards of 80 million people, and the Cairo metropolitan area numbers almost 20 million, but the anti-Mubarak forces had a very hard time ever getting above 50,000 or so — even in the days when they bombastically promised a Million Man March or even a Two Million Man March. Compared to Kiev, a smaller city, in November 2004, Cairo was a feeble effort.

Now the same kind of PRESS MANIPULATION is being "played out" in Libya — and American Christians are falling for it "lock, stock and barrel."

As we indicated in the Preface to this article, this doesn't say much for the ability of Christians in the United States to withstand what the Bible calls the "GREAT DECEPTION" of the "end of days." [Please see Chapter XIV of the New Antipas Papers, "The Great Falling Away."]

Again, it's in the light of this that we URGE you to read our article, "Come Out Of Her."

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not point out the fact that — in the end — all this lying and cheating by the US will not — indeed, it cannot — prevent the Muslim nations of the Middle East and North Africa from breaking away from their status as client-states in the American New World Order System; all it is doing is enraging the Muslim people all the more against the US, and in doing so paving the way for Radical Islamists to seize upon this unrest and set up a New Caliphate.

The New Arab Caliphate towards which Islam is pressing.

NOTE: In connection with this reality, one would do well to remember that both Libya and Egypt are mentioned as Islamist opponents of the United States and Israel in the soon-to-come Gog / Magog War. [Please see our article, "Confronting the Inevitable Collapse of America's Client-State System in the Middle East."]


God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer,
Antipas Ministries









Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.

Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):




The Albert Einstein Institution:
Non-Violence According to the CIA

By Thierry Meyssan

Gene Sharp

Non violence as a political action technique can be used for anything. During the 1980s, NATO drew its attention on its possible use to organize the Resistance in Europe after the invasion of the Red Army. It's been 15 years since the CIA began using it to overthrow inflexible governments without provoking international outrage, and its ideological façade is philosopher Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution — and it has been used to great affect from Lithuania to Serbia, Venezuela and Ukraine.

Unknown to the public, Gene Sharp formulated a theory on non violence as a political weapon. Also he first helped NATO and then CIA train the leaders of the soft coups of the last 15 years. Since the 50s, Gene Sharp studied Henry D. Thoreau and Mohandas K. Gandhi's theory of civil disobedience. For these authors, obedience and disobedience were religious and moral matters, not political ones. However, to preach had political consequences; what could be considered an aim could be perceived as a mean. Civil disobedience can be considered then as a political, even military, action technique.

In 1983, Sharp designed the Non Violent Sanctions Program in the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University where he did some social sciences studies on the possible use of civil disobedience by Western Europe population in case of a military invasion carried out by the troops of the Warsaw Pact. At the same time, he founded in Boston the Albert Einstein Institution with the double purpose of financing his own researches and applying his own models to specific situations. In 1985, he published a book titled "Making Europe Unconquerable " [1] whose second edition included a preface by George Kennan, the Father of the Cold War. In 1987, the association was funded by the U.S. Institute for Peace and hosted seminars to instruct its allies on defense based on civil disobedience. General Fricaud-Chagnaud, on his part, introduced his "civil deterrence" concept at the Foundation of National Defense Studies. [2]

General Edward B. Atkeson, well-known by CIA director, [3] incorporated the Institute to the American interference stay-behind network in allied States. To focus on the moral issues of an action helped to avoid all doubts on the legitimacy of an action. Therefore, non violence, recognized as good-natured and assimilated to democracy, offered a suitable aspect to antidemocratic secret actions.

In 1989, when the Albert Institution became well known, Gene Sharp began to advice anticommunist movements. He participated in the establishment of Burma's Democratic Alliance - a coalition of notable anticommunists that quickly joined the military government - and Taiwan's Progressive Democratic Party - which favored the independence of the island from communist China, something U.S. officially opposed. He also unified the Tibetan opposition under Dalai Lama and tried to form a dissident group within PLO so that Palestinian nationalists would stop terrorism [4] (he made the necessary arrangements with Colonel Reuven Gal, [5] director of the Psychological Action division of the Israeli armed forces, to train them secretly in the American Embassy in Tel Aviv).

Srdja Popovic (left), Serbian leader of the Otpor movement, Gene Sharp (center) and Robert Helvey

When CIA realized how useful could the Albert Einstein Institution be, it brought Colonel Robert Helvey into play. An expert in clandestine actions and former dean of the Embassy's Military Attachés Training School, "Bob" took Gene Sharp to Burma to educate the opposition on the non violent strategy for criticizing the cruelest military junta of the world without questioning the system. By doing this, Helvey could identify the "good" and the "bad" opponents in a critical moment for Washington: the true opposition, led by Mrs. Suu Kyi, was labeled as a threat to the pro-American regimen.

«Bob's» job was easily done. Since he was military attaché in Rangoon from 1983 to 1985 and helped to structure the dictatorship, he knew everybody. By playing a double game, Colonel Helvey simultaneously directed a classical action of military support to Karen resistance: by providing weapons and controlling a limited guerrilla, Washington wished, indeed, to maintain the military junta under pressure.

Since that moment, Sharp has always been present everywhere American interests are put at risk. In June 1989, he and his assistant, Bruce Jenkins, went to Beijing, two weeks before Tiananmen events. They were both expelled by Chinese authorities. In February 1990, the Albert Einstein Institution hosted a Conference on Non Violent Sanctions that brought together 185 experts of 16 countries under Colonels Robert Helvey and Reuven Gal. This marked the beginning of an international anticommunist crusade to involve peoples in non violent action.

Professor Thomas Schelling, [6] well known economist and CIA consultant, joined the Administrative Council of the Institution whose official budget was still stable though it was also funded by the International Republican Institute (IRI), one of the four branches of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED/CIA). [7]

At the same time, Baltic countries proclaimed their independence but, after a test of endurance with Mijail Gorbatchov, they postponed their decision for 2 or 3 years to negotiate their terms. In October 1990, Gene Sharp and his team traveled to Sweden and trained several Lithuanian politicians in the organization of a popular resistance against the Red Army. Months later, in May 1991, when the crisis broke out and Gorbatchov deployed his special forces; Gene Sharp was the adviser of Sajudis separatist party (Perestroika Initiative Group) and remained close to Vytautas Landsbergis. In June 1992, independent Lithuania Minister of Defense, Audrius Butkevicius, hosted a symposium to thank Albert Einstein Institution's key role during the independence process of the Baltic countries.

When the U.S began its rearmament in 1998, [8] the Albert Einstein Institution became part of an expansionist strategy. It provided ideology and technique to Otpor («Resistance»), a group of Slobodan Milosevic's young opponents. Simultaneously, it intervened in Kosovo province to train Ibrahim Rugova's LDK, but it turned useless for Washington during the Kosovo war. Then, Otpor quickly became a choice to overthrow Milosevic who was very popular for resisting NATO. Colonel Helvey trained Otpor's leaders through seminars hosted at Hilton Hotel in Budapest. Money was not a problem to overthrow Europe's last communist government. The person in charge of commanding the operation was agent Paul B. McCarthy, discreetly settled at Moskva hotel in Belgrade until Milosevic's resignation in October 2000.

In September 2002, Gene Sharp went to The Hague to train the members of the Iraqi National Council who were preparing themselves to return to Iraq, along with the American army.

In September 2003, it was also the Albert Einstein Institution who advised the opposition to question the electoral results and go on demonstrations to force Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation [9] during the «revolution» of the roses in Georgia.

When the CIA-organized-coup against Venezuela failed in April 2002, the State Department counted again on the Albert Einstein Institution which advised the owners of enterprises during the organization of the revocatory referendum against President Hugo Chávez. Gene Sharp and his team led the leaders of Súmate during the demonstrations of August 2004. As done before, the only thing they had to do was questioning the electoral results and demanding the resignation of the president. They managed to get the bourgeoisie out in the street but Chavez's popular government was too strong. All in all, international observers had no other choice but to recognize Hugo Chávez's victory. [Please see our article, "The AFL-CIO and Death Squads" which details the coup that was organized by th CIA against the Chavez government in Venezuela."]

Gene Sharp failed in Belarus and Zimbabwe for he could not recruit and train in the proper time the necessary amount of demonstrators. During the orange «revolution» in November 2004, [10] we met again with Colonel Robert Helvey in Kiev. Finally, we must point out that the Albert Einstein Institution has begun to train Iranian agitators

But, why Albert Einstein? It is an unsuspicious name. Gene Sharp's first book on Gandhi's methods began with a preface signed by Albert Einstein, though the book was written in 1960, five years after the genius's death. Therefore, Albert Einstein did not write anything for Sharp's work. All that Sharp did was reproducing an article on non violence written by the scientist.

  1. Making Europe Unconquerable: The Potential of Civilian-based Deterrence and Defense. Taylor & Francis Publishing House, London, 1985. Its second edition included a preface by George F. Kennan, Ballinger Publishing House, Massachusetts, 1986.

  2. General Georges Fricaud Chagnaud had been military attaché at the Embassy of France in Washington, and some time later he was appointed Chief of NATO's French military mission.

  3. General Edward B. Atkeson is currently a CSIS expert and manager of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

  4. Mubarak Awad, one of the agents formed by Sharp, is currently (January 2005) in charge of the American aid sent to Indonesia after the tsunami.

  5. Nowadays, Colonel Reuven Gal is deputy head of the National Security Council of Israel in charge of molding Palestine society.

  6. In March 2004, Thomas Schelling was one of the drafters of the Copenhagen Consensus. Sponsored by The Economist, this document questioned the UN Millenium Program and the Kyoto Protocol. Mr. Schelling formulated a theoretical model which suggested that economic growth is the best way to combat global warming for, in the future, it should guarantee the development of the necessary techniques to solve the problem.

  7. Thierry Meyssan : «The Networks of "Democratic" Interference», Voltaire (text in French), November 21, 2004.

  8. In 1998 and despite the lack of enemy, the Congress forced President Clinton to implement a rearmament policy.

  9. See Paul Labarique : «Les dessous du coup d'État en Géorgie», text in French, Voltaire, January 7, 2004.

  10. See Emilia Nazarenko: «Moscow and Washington confronting each other in Ukraine», Voltaire (Text in French), November 1st, 2004. This article was published by Voltaire before the first part of the presidential elections and described the organization of the pretended spontaneous movement of the following weeks.




On Freedom House and the CIA

By: Adrienne Pine

Adrienne Pine (left)

NOTE: Adrienne Pine is a well-known researcher who analyzes the mechanisms supporting empire and the daily usurpations of democracy there and in the United States. She examines the non-profit industrial complex, the militarized and corporatized academy, diverse actors and institutions in the U.S. and Honduran governments, and the Honduran resistance movement in order to better understand how structures of violence prevent democratic processes from taking hold. Pine has been described as "a one-woman wrecking crew against the golpistas in Honduras and their handlers, paymasters, apologists and lackeys in DC" and sees militant anthropology as a key factor in overthrowing the corporatocracy. She is based in Washington, DC, where she learns from and teaches anthropology to the fabulous students at American University.

In a recent article she published on  Freedom House she was accused of not providing enough documentation that it was a CIA FRONT operation. This is her answer to that criticism.

"Oops! I called Freedom House a CIA front without providing extensive documentation and pissed off a reader who works for Soros and formerly for USAID. Indeed, one of the reasons critics of U.S. imperialism are brushed off is that we are at times incautious in our quick ascriptions of things like widely interlocking memberships and boards, funders, and similar actions to intentional and directional (rather than coincidental) commonality of purpose. And one of the characteristics of blog writing and activist media is that it permits for urgent writing, like warning the Honduran resistance movement about neocon organizations trying to co-opt it through "human rights" funding, without the wait (or prestige) of a refereed journal article. The urgency of solidarity, unfortunately, does not often permit for multiple edits, which in my case always and without fail consist of warnings to not write so angrily. That said, my angry incautious writing has proved quite beneficial in numerous instances because of the responses it provokes, and what those in turn uncover. In this case, some great arguments about Freedom House, and some new leads. One very useful assessment of Freedom House's position vis-a-vis the U.S. government and the need to accurately identify elements of U.S. imperialism, reached me in email form from Jeremy Bigwood. I publish it here with his permission:

"Here are my two cents: the genius of US imperialism is that it operates through many distinct entities that function at various intensities through different channels - and often independently of each other once they get going on a particular project. "These distinct entities often come together and decide on a strategy around a big table which includes the NSC and, if it is important enough, the President himself. A given policy may or may not originate from Congress. When a policy is decided upon, all of the agencies do their distinct thing — sometimes in close coordination with each other and sometimes not. It depends on what is on the agenda. Sometimes the agencies meet repeatedly to check the status of some program. Sometimes they don't. While it can be as lethal as any of the military entities, the CIA does not call the shots and is usually just one of many USG actors in any given situation. Please remember that the CIA is a relatively small part of the whole operation. The biggest USG entity is DoD — an entity that owns about 86% of all USG assets and is able to act behind the scenes very easily because there are so many other entities to focus on and also because of its relative complexity and opacity.

"Freedom House looks like a CIA front because it is doing its part to achieve the aims agreed to at some NSC meeting, something that the CIA would also be doing. Stylistically, FH usually does things by twisting the facts in a way reminiscent of the CIA's Psychological Operations of the Cold War period (what was called "Psy Ops" then has been largely taken over by DoS, USAID, NED and their subordinate entities like FH and it is now called "democracy promotion" among other Orwellian monikers). FH is a practiced spinmaster. It has been doing this for a long time and its human resources department knows how to pick naïve people to do its bidding. FH people are pros, just like CIA officers are.

"However, I should point out that the misidentification of the elements of US imperialism is something that continually plagues the Latin American Left and impairs its credibility. For instance, Evo used to rail against the DEA for coca eradication in the Chapare in Bolivia. True, the DEA really did have a role in drug control in Bolivia, but very little in eradication: it was DoS' INL that was in charge of eradicating coca. But it was just easier for him to say "DEA' than get into the complicated details of the internal structures of DoS entities. This is OK for propaganda down south, but if we want to put all of the beast back into its cage, we here in Washington have to be able to correctly identify all of its body parts.

"In other words, US imperialism is a very, very complicated beast — much more complicated than, say, Japanese imperialism of the first half of the last century. It is also very adaptive, although less and less so... Hopefully we will be able to push it back into its cage so that it becomes an enlightened member of the world's nations. It is worth a try.




International Republican Institute

By: Muriel Kane

Raw Story, @2004

The IRI is little-known organization closely tied to the Republican Party and the Bush administration and often accused of promoting partisan policies and ideology abroad is now heavily involved in efforts to establish democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

The International Republican Institute, though billing itself as an independent nonprofit unaffiliated with the Republican Party, acts essentially as a wing of the GOP. Its is chaired by party presidential frontrunner Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Representatives David Dreier (R-CA) and Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) serve on its board of directors. Many of IRI's high-ranking staff members have at some point worked directly for the Bush administration.

What makes these connections troubling is that the organization, nominally dedicated to nurturing free institutions in emerging democracies, has also been associated with unscrupulous and undemocratic campaign practices both at home and overseas.

Crushing Kerry

In December 2004, IRI contracted with Tony Marsh and Lance Copsey of the media consulting firm Marsh, Copsey & Scott to set up a Baghdad Media Center on behalf of the U.S. State Department. Its stated purpose was to assist Iraqi political parties and candidates in the upcoming January elections.

Earlier that year, in January 2004, Marsh Copsey & Scott (now Marsh Copsey & Associates) had registered the domain name, which was used throughout the 2004 election for an anti-Kerry blog run by their senior account executive, Patrick Hynes. The site was heavily involved in promoting both the SwiftBoat Veterans and CBS Memos stories. It also encouraged readers to suggest other ways of discrediting John Kerry, and claimed to have inside sources of information on the Kerry campaign. Today, the blog is gone, but is still the main URL for the website of Marsh Copsey & Associates.

Until 2003, Tony Marsh and Lance Copsey had been associated with the firm of Russo Marsh & Rogers, which has since then become known for its sponsorship of a pro-Iraq War organization called Move America Forward. In 2004, MAF encouraged a campaign of intimidation to prevent theater owners from showing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911. In 2005, it launched a "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" caravan to demonstrate against Cindy Sheehan. It is currently running television ads calling for the censure of former President Jimmy Carter, in retaliation against calls to censure George W. Bush.

Marsh and Copsey's association with these actions is made more troubling by the closeness of their firm's ties to the Republican Party. They list among their clients the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional Committees, and many state Republican organizations.

Marsh Copsey's connection with IRI goes well beyond the Baghdad Media Center. IRI's annual report for 2003 lists both Tony Marsh and Lance Copsey among its volunteers for that year. After the 2005 Iraqi election, IRI's resident political director in Iraq became Marsh Copsey's director of international ventures.

Shaping elections in Iraq and Afghanistan

Marsh Copsey is not the only firm advising IRI on how to run Republican-style election campaigns. IRI's annual reports for 2003 and 2004 include among their lists of volunteers a significant number of Republican pollsters, consultants, strategists, public opinion researchers, and campaign website designers, some of whom have come under fire for unethical practices.

For example, Rob Autry and Gene Ulm are with Public Opinion Strategies, the largest Republican polling firm. POS was responsible for the "Harry and Louise" ad in the early 90's that scuttled Clinton's health insurance proposals. In 2001, it was charged with violating Virginia's polling disclosure laws, and it has also been accused of using push polls to influence elections.

Another IRI volunteer is Whitfield Ayres, a Republican strategist and pollster who often appears on television news shows presenting Republican talking points. One of his polls claimed to show that older Americans supported privatization of Social Security. Another, from 2004, indicated that 83% of Americans were satisfied with their current health insurance coverage.

These volunteers take on significance in light of the fact that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, IRI has been heavily involved in elections -- working with favored candidates and parties and conducting polls which may be intended to influence election results.

During the Afghan presidential election of October 2004, IRI's pre-election poll showed Hamid Karzai with a strong lead, and its exit poll, released immediately after the vote and well before the ballots were counted, also gave him over 50% of the vote. The British Helsinki Human Rights Group subsequently suggested that these polls might have helped head off scrutiny of an election that had initially been met with well-founded suspicions of fraud.

IRI's polls also serve to influence public opinion in the United States. A year ago, MediaMatters pointed out that the Washington Post had cited an IRI poll showing that "60 percent of Iraqis believed the country is headed in the right direction" without indicating the partisan nature of its source. In September 2004, President Bush had cited a similar IRI poll at a press conference, saying, "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America. It's pretty darn strong. I mean, the people see a better future."

Outsourcing regime change

IRI was founded in 1983 as the result of a Reagan administration imitative to fight Communism by providing government funding to private groups -- most notably the National Endowment for Democracy -- that would promote U.S. policies in ways the government could not undertake directly. In 1991, one of the creators of the NED would be quoted as saying, "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." This initiative led to the creation of two organizations, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, associated with the two political parties.

IRI and NDI originally focused their activities on Central America and the Caribbean, but after the fall of the Soviet Union they shifted their attention to the former Communist republics of Eastern Europe. In Serbia, for example, the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000 was carefully orchestrated, in an effort that the Washington Post has called "a curious mixture of secrecy and openness." In this effort, NDI offered its polling and organizing expertise to help develop a unified political opposition, while IRI provided a student group, Otpor, with instruction in non-violent resistance and helped it to plaster the country with anti-Milosevic stickers and graffiti.

The IRI has recently come under heavy criticism for its activities in Venezuela, Haiti, and Cambodia. In all three countries, IRI has taken a partisan role, channeling support and funding to extreme right-wing and pro-Bush parties and skewing its reporting in their favor. This is in sharp contrast with the National Democratic Institute, which reportedly works with all factions and focuses on sponsoring debates and handing out voting guides.

In April 2002, it was revealed that in the months preceding the abortive coup against Hugo Chavez, the U.S. government had funneled millions of dollars through IRI and related organizations to opposition groups in Venezuela. IRI staff members had held discussions with one of the coup leaders a few months before the coup attempt, and on the day of the coup the president of IRI issued a press release hailing the removal of Chavez from power.

IRI has also been accused of being a major factor in the violent coup which removed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power in Haiti in February 2004, leaving that country in a state of chaos. According to both the New York Times and Salon, IRI had spent years undermining the reconciliation process after disputed elections, counseling and funding opposition groups, and training coup leaders.

The secretive aspect to some of IRI's activities, combined with its repeated involvement in subverting left-leaning politicians and parties, creates the appearance that it may be acting as one more tool in the Bush administration's arsenal for regime change by any means available. The recent increase in IRI's federal funding -- which almost tripled, from $26 million to $75 million, between 2003 and 2005 -- adds grounds to this suspicion.

IRI's ties to the current administration are strong, to say the least. Its current president left the organization from 2001 to 2004 to serve as Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. A former IRI regional director served under him as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the same bureau. IRI's general counsel became the deputy director of economic policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in 2003. One former IRI staff member was Director of Governance for the CPA, while another, who was Senior Advisor for Governance, has now returned to IRI as executive vice president.

Karl Rove's dirty tricks alma mater

Tony Marsh and Lance Copsey are not the only names associated with both IRI and Karl Rove-style campaign dirty tricks. Several of IRI's volunteers have lectured or taught seminars at Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute, the venerable training-ground for dubious Republican campaign practices, which Salon has described as teaching "that with sufficient organization, the act of voting becomes less a basic right than a tactical maneuver." Karl Rove himself is an alumnus of the Leadership Institute, as is Jeff Gannon. So is Patrick Hynes, the Marsh Copsey employee who ran

Among the IRI volunteers with a Leadership Institute connection is Ron Nehring, the vice-chairman of the California Republican Party, who says in his online biography that he "has volunteered to teach campaign strategy and tactics to others at campaign seminars throughout the United States and Canada, and even in such troubled areas as the Middle East and Haiti, through the International Republican Institute and the Leadership Institute."

Nehring, a protégé of Grover Norquist who was recently the subject of an article at RAW STORY, is also head of The Project for California's Future, which regularly partners with the Leadership Institute to provide campaign trainings. The board of advisors of that group includes Kerri Houston, another IRI volunteer. Houston is also on the board of directors of GOPUSA, the website which credentialed Jeff Gannon as a White House reporter.

At least two other IRI volunteers -- fundraiser Paul Pelletier and Newt Gingrich's former chief legislative assistant, Nancy Bocskor -- have taught at the Leadership Institute as well.

These connections with the Gingrich-Norquist wing of the Republican Party point up IRI's role in promoting a radical right-wing ideology. Though IRI is largely supported by federal funding, it receives additional contributions from right-wing foundations, large corporations (including major oil firms, telecommunication companies, and defense contractors), and Republican lobbyists. Representatives of these same corporations and foundations serve on its board of directors, and it appears that their extreme free-market ideas may be more influential on the organization than the traditional American love for open institutions that it nominally espouses.

On to Tehran?

At present, the International Republican Institute appears to be slowly gearing up to participate in the Bush administration's current initiative to promote regime change in Iran by supporting Iranian pro-democracy activists. However, some of IRI's alumni and associates have already been on the move.

In 2004, a former IRI staff member, J. Scott Carpenter, became head of the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, with the responsibility "to reach out to Iranian democrats inside the country to see who would be willing to accept outside support in their efforts to reform and change the Islamic republic." Just this March, Carpenter participated in the creation of an unprecedented Office of Iranian Affairs, whose purpose is "to facilitate a change in Iranian policies and actions."

More surprisingly, three members of the Serbian student group Otpor showed up in Dubai last summer, running training sessions in which they tutored Iranian activists in the same kinds of tricks that IRI had taught them five years earlier during the push to overthrow Milosevic. In a recent article, Asia Times described these workshops as "highly secretive" and said that "stress was laid on the importance of ridiculing the political elite as an effective tool of demythologizing them in the eyes of the people."

Asia Times further quotes an Iranian analyst as saying, "As I gather, the idea was to fund and train activists to be agents provocateurs along the lines of the Otpor movement in Serbia. Their job was to utilize various techniques, such as anti-government graffiti etc, to embolden the student movement and provoke a general government crackdown, which could then be used as a pretext to 'spark' a mass uprising in Iran that appeared to be spontaneous and indigenous."

Asia Times does not identify the "Americans who appeared to supervise the course and whose affiliation remained unclear throughout." However, it seems certain that whether or not they were formally associated with IRI, the attitudes and methods they were passing along to the Iranian dissidents derive directly from those of, the Leadership Institute, and the International Republican Institute.