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Fifth Column Financier By: William Bacon
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, May 07, 2003


Most of the public attention to those who have opposed our (now, successful) drive to oust Saddam Hussein has been devoted to organizations like ANSWER and the Not in Our Name movement.  Far more important to the anti-war effort, however, has been the quieter, behind-the-scenes work of academics and leftist groups, such as the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Ploughshares Fund, the American Friends Services Committee and journals such as The American Prospect. These organizations have worked to undermine support of the United States’ efforts in the War on Terror, and against the Hussein regime. They are all very well-financed groups, who have one primary funding source in common: The Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, for the purpose of “advancing human welfare.” It is, without a doubt, one of the largest philanthropical trusts in the world. With assets of almost $11 billion in 2001 (the latest year for which full figures are available), it makes grants of almost a billion dollars a year. The Foundation has had a left-leaning orientation for years. During the Cold War, controversy arose over Ford’s funding of pro-Soviet and pro-Maoist organizations such as the Institute for Pacific Research.

Readers of FrontPage Magazine may never have heard of the Ploughshares Fund. The Fund is, itself, a grant-making organization; styling itself as a “mutual fund for peace,” and has received $1 million from the Ford Foundation so far this year.

Ploughshares, and the Ford Foundation itself, have granted funds to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has issued numerous op-ed pieces against the U.S. stance in Iraq as well as hiring staff who appear to take their lead from Noam Chomsky. Now, with victory achieved, the Endowment agitates for more UN involvement in the post-war environment; possibly allowing the Old European powers to continue the lucrative concessions they gained in Iraq during the Hussein regime.

Another Ploughshares grantee is the U.S. Campaign to Ban Land Mines. The Campaign advocates the elimination of all land mines as an inhumane weapon. The U.S. has refused to go along with this call, rationally coming to the conclusion that such devices have a place in modern warfare.

Other Ploughshares grantees have published op-eds and scholarly articles on why the U.S. should give into North Korean demands and continue to provide it with free oil, food and other desperately needed items in order to bribe the Korean government to cease its efforts to build nuclear weapons.

The Tides Center is another grant-making organization that is funded in large part by Ford Foundation money. The Tides Center, and its subsidiary organizations (which are the subject of another upcoming article), have received more than $5 million from the Foundation over the last three years. While some of that money has gone for other purposes than anti-war activism, it has given more than $1.5 million to anti-war efforts since 9/11, including paying the salary of former U.S. Congressman Tom Andrews, who runs the Win Without War group.

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights has received about $1.7 million over the last three years from the Ford Foundation. The LCHR has worked tirelessly on reducing the ability of the United States to protect itself from terrorists, under the guise of “human rights.” LCHR staff has decried the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Liberty Shield, in part because of the Department’s determination that the asylum program is an excellent opportunity for terrorists to slip into this country and commit atrocities. To that end, the Department decided that applicants for asylum from countries where terrorists groups are active should be detained while their cases are adjudicated. LHCR’s attorneys, on the other hand, believe that this is a “violation” of their right to due process and generally mean and nasty.

The Lawyer’s Committee is also more than willing to give up American sovereign rights to international bodies. LCHR has been an ardent supporter of the International Criminal Court, which would provide anti-American governments the opportunity to charge our troops and officials based overseas with “crimes” based on the fulfillment of their duties.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, as Henry Holzer has previously described, wraps itself in the cloth of our Constitution. In reality, it is a group of pro-Castro radicals, working to deny the United States the ability to defend itself against those who would harm our nation or our people. It, too, is funded by the Ford Foundation, receiving $150,000 so far this year alone.

The CCR has called the “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign which led off our military efforts in Iraq a war crime; arguing that it indiscriminately targeted civilians and that U.S. officials should be charged before the International Criminal Court since some bombers were likely to take off from Diego Garcia – a British possession leased to the U.S. military. Since the treaty creating the Court provides jurisdiction over any territory of a treaty signatory (and Great Britain is one), theoretically the Court could bring charges against our pilots based there.

The CCR also has opposed confinement of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters at Guantanamo Bay, persisting in calling these terrorists “Prisoners of War” rather than calling them what they are, pirates and worse.

In each of these cases, the Ford Foundation has made significant grants of aid to organizations that have advocated against the interests of the United States in its War on Terror. The Foundation also makes, as a matter of course, grants to a number of organizations whose main stock-in-trade is leftist rhetoric. 

So far this year, the Ford Foundation has issued grants of at least $335,000 to the ACLU, and $200,000 to the American Friends Service Committee.  Both grants were made specifically to finance “immigrants’ rights” initiatives and likely used to support lawsuits against the Federal government relating to the PATRIOT Act, and other steps taken after the September 11th attacks.

The Foundation also issued a grant in 2002 to The American Prospect, a “progressive” magazine which has taken a harsh anti-war stance, in the amount of $600,000. This grant is probably keeping the magazine in business since most public policy journals (of any ideological stance) do not cover their own expenses.

The Ford Foundation is a highly respected organization. It has built its reputation through the charitable funding of children’s programming such as Sesame Street. It funds one of the largest programs of support for graduate study in the Third World, allowing deserving men and women the opportunity to earn Masters and Doctoral degrees to help their countrymen. With programs of this type, the Foundation appears to support American values and goals through its charitable giving. Yet, the Foundation also funds some organizations that are diametrically opposed to American values and the cause of expanding liberty across the globe. In funding the groups mentioned above, the Ford Foundation provides support to terrorists and those who love them – and hate America.




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