So when my conversation with the South American Gentleman turned to my old classmate, I asked him, “What’s Old Friend up to these days? Is he still at the Ford Foundation?”
“No,” said SAG, “he reached a very high position in the Ford Foundation, but then left them and went to work for a Washington think tank.” He seemed impressed with OF’s near miraculous ascent.
“I’m not surprised,” I said, “I always suspected the Ford Foundation was a CIA front organization. It seems logical to me that he should go from there to a ‘Washington think tank’. Doesn’t that smell to you a bit like three-day-old fish?”
“Oh no,” protested SAG, “the Ford Foundation does very valuable work around the world, nothing to do with the CIA.”
The Poor Man’s Think Tank is Google
The following day SAG and his charming wife came out to our house for lunch and a visit to Maureen’s etching studio. We drove them back to their hotel and dropped them off with effusive goodbyes. The Ford Foundation/CIA question continued to gnaw at the back of my mind, however. Back to Google, where I pop in: “Ford Foundation, CIA,” and come up with 809,000 results, which seemed to me rather a lot for a relationship that didn’t exist. I didn’t read them all. I didn’t need to. Just the first half dozen told me what I needed to know.
One of the principal whistle blowers is James Petras, retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of sociology at Binghamton University, SUNY, NY, who wrote in a 2001 article:
The Ford Foundation’s history of collaboration and interlock with the CIA in pursuit of U.S. world hegemony is now a well-documented fact… The Ford Foundation has in some ways refined their style of collaboration with Washington’s attempt to produce world cultural domination, but retained the substance of that policy… The ties between the top officials of the Ford Foundation and the U.S. government are explicit and continuing. —James Petras in “The Ford Foundation and the CIA: A documented case of philanthropic collaboration with the Secret Police.”
According to Petras:
The CIA considers foundations such as Ford ‘The best and most plausible kind of funding cover.’ The collaboration of respectable and prestigious foundations, according to one former CIA operative allowed the Agency to fund ‘a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses and other private institutions.’ The latter included ‘human rights’ groups beginning in the 1950s to the present. One of the most important‘private foundations’ collaborating with the CIA over a significant span of time in major projects in the cultural Cold War is the Ford Foundation.
Ford Foundation/CIA, Like a Horse and Carriage
As it turns out, for more than half a century the Ford Foundation has been up to its neck in sinister CIA oobleck. From their big donations to the CIA-front Congress for Cultural Freedom and former Foundation president Richard Bissell’s relationship with DCI Allen Dulles in the 1950’s to their funding of anti-leftist human rights groups which focus on attacking human rights violations of U.S. adversaries, the Ford Foundation has worked as an extraordinarily effective CIA meta-front in the business of financing other CIA front organizations.
Coming soon, Ford Foundation/CIA: Two-Headed Philanthropy – 3/3