Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The School of Authentic Journalism: AEI/CIA Connections at NARCO NEWS

(What has happened at Narco News is happening everywhere to organizations purporting to represent the left. They are being absorbed by the right. President Obama will announce a troop increase. Many people feel deceived by this. The following is an partial example of how these deceptions occur.)

Peter Ackerman has written political articles with Michael Ledeen a neo-con (American Enterprise Institute AEI) and associate of many members of PNAC. PNAC is the Project for a New American Century. PNAC is the neo-con plan for American world dominance. Peter Ackerman is the founder and funder of a group (ICNC) that funds Narco News and it's School of Authentic Journalism. Michael Ledeen is a neo- con who has been accused of creating the Niger Forgeries that helped lead to war with Iraq on phony WMD issues. Al Giordano wrote a response to a diary on Narco News and it’s involvement with Jack Duvall and Peter Ackerman who have both been board members with former CIA chief and PNAC spokesman James Woolsey at Freedom House and The Arlington Insitute:

Giordano: “The suggestion that contributions to our work (and especially one that is matched by hundreds of small donors that support authentic journalism) would in any way change what we do is absurd and the writer hasn't offered a shred of evidence anyway.”

Well here's a shred.

Jack Duvall's photo is 8th from the bottom on the Narco News website. It turns out that [Jack Duvall, a producer http://www.narconews.com/Issue60/article3813.html] is a instructor of Narco News Journalists (though he has never been identified anywhere as "journalist") with their school, The School of Authentic Journalism, which Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall fund with funds from the International Center for Non Violent Conflict which seeks to overthrow the sometimes democratically elected leadership of nations as varied as Venezuela, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. Peter Ackerman is also a board member of the ICNC. He has written articles with Michael Ledeen a PNAC member. One of those articles is called “Say you want a Revolution” From Anti War, Justin Raimondo
“Say You Want a Revolution,” is the title of a piece by neoconservative Michael “Faster Please” Ledeen, a tireless advocate of the U.S. waging endless wars of “liberation,” and Peter Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Its theme: more U.S. tax dollars to fund “revolutionaries” in a new model of “regime change” – as in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan."
Here the ICNC outlines it’s purpose from it’s website:
The ICNC develops and encourages the use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies to establish and defend democracy provides assistance in the training and deployment of field advisors , to deepen the conceptual knowledge and practical skills of applying nonviolent strategies in conflicts throughout the world where progress toward democracy and human rights is possible."
The School for Authentic Journalism sends it’s investigative reporters out to the “field” to report. Jack Duvall is on the Board of The Arlington Institute. Ex CIA director James Woolsey has also been a member of the Arlington Institute which is described by Source Watch:
Jack DuVall is the president of International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), an organization that has produced what can only be termed propaganda films shown on PBS and on university campuses around the US. Note that ICNC is also a project of Peter Ackerman, a right-wing operator. DuVall and James Woolsey, the former head of the CIA, founded the The Arlington Institute.
The Arlington Institutes clients are all 4 branches of the military among others. They try to predict the future. Their presentation on video impressed me as unbearably goofy and an attempt to quantify and justify superstition using big words with authoritative voicing. It was in effect really stupid, bordering on silly. These people are pretentious and very dumb, calling themselves futurists.

The CIA is an organization of very backward people who are bereft of any real intelligence and it is not surprising to see an organization like this associated with them. It's another spin off on "Men Who Stare at Goats".

Duvall has been active in the overthrow of Chavez in Venezuela.
However, Duvall does admit in his letter that in March 2005 the ICNC “gave support to the [Albert] Einstein Institute for a workshop it conducted on nonviolent action for Venezuelans, [which was] held in Boston”.
Narco News recently awarded 24 scholarships to up and coming journalists and “communicators” where they receive “training “ in investigative reporting, “documentary film-making, viral video production, use of new media technologies, photojournalism, safety when reporting in conflict zones, use of the Freedom of Information Act to make government documents public, how to write a news story, how to use a cell phone camera, making effective media criticism and other work skills. “documentary film-making, viral video production, use of new media technologies, photojournalism, safety when reporting in conflict zones, use of the Freedom of Information Act to make government documents public, how to write a news story, how to use a cell phone camera, making effective media” critsicism”

So we have a right wing organization involved in the overthrow of some democratically elected governments (Venezuela) funding and providing instructors to what is considered a left wing reporting service, Narco News.

It would appear that Narco News is a compromised news source. Certainly the people who make it up are not all from the CIA. But it would appear that they have been infiltrated, compromised, seduced and altered by the presence of the ICNC with Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall and their PNAC, CIA associations.

I would urge the Narco News 'students" to investigate themselves. Investigate what is really going on and how some of them may be used in the future to gather information from the field for those people associated with PNAC and or the CIA.

The CIA is well known for this kind of work. Jack Duvall will personally instruct the students of journalism. He will get to know them. Perhaps the students will trust him. One day, and that day may never come, or it may soon come. Jack Duvall may call his former students in the field to look into something or provide first hand information as to events in a particular country. He may provide them with information that will lead them to report a story that favors the political point of view of Jack Duvall, Peter Ackerman and PNAC spokesperson, former CIA director, James Woolsey.

Something that the Arlington Institute would approve of.

Many of the people at Narco News I'm sure are sincere. But they have certainly been infiltrated and have or will be used by people asssociated with Jack Duvall and Peter Ackerman. Those people are members of PNAC or may be in the CIA.
The big question is of course why does Al Giordano accept Jack Duvall as a contributor and "instructor".

Perhaps the people at Narco News are just as confused as the general population as to what's going on.

The purpose historically of world leadership and organizations like the CIA is to keep the populace confused, off balance and uninformed.

PNAC and the CIA like it that way.






12 comments:

Stephen Zunes said...

With all the real conspiracies out there, it is a disservice to the anti-imperialist struggle to make things up like this.

I am one of a number of progressives who have worked with both NarcoNews and ICNC, and the idea that either are CIA or PNAC related are ridiculous. Of course, this author has been banned from a number of progressive web sites for similar outrageous paranoid fantasies and sectarian attacks about other individuals and organizations, so I suppose it's not surprising that he'd go after NarcoNew and ICNC as well.

I have worked for several years on ICNC's academic advisory committee with such prominent leftists as Stellan Vinthagen, Philippe Duhamel, Les Kurtz, Cynthia Boaz, Tom Hastings, Kevin Clements, and others. I know ICNC's work well, so I know that the factual errors in this diatribe are too numerous to respond all of them but here are a few:

Neither ICNC nor anybody on the staff or working in any other capacity with the organization has ever had anything to do with PNAC of the CIA. None of us would be on the academic advisory board if it did.

Neither Ackerman nor DuVall are "right-wingers." DuVall is a liberal Democrat and Ackerman is an independent libertarian.

DuVall overlapped for two meetings with James Woolsey on a politically-diverse board of a nonprofit organization and they never even spoke with each other. How that makes compromises him as some kind of CIA asset is a stretch to say the least.

ICNC has never "sought to overthrow the leadership of other nations." Again, none of the many progressives affiliated with ICNC would do so if they had. ICNC did not even exist at the time of the Milosevic overthrow in Yugoslavia, they have never had any contacts with anyone from Kyrgystan prior to the Tulip Revolution and other than some literature and books sent out to people from scores of different countries, no contact with Georgians or Ukrainians either.

ICNC has never deployed field advisors anywhere.

The only time anyone affiliated with ICNC has been to Venezuela was when ICNC sent me to the World Social Forum in 2006, where I worked with supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution on nonviolent means or RESISTING an attempted coup.

ICNC has worked with anti-war and immigrants rights activists in the United States, as well as Palestinians, Egyptians, Sahrawis, West Papuans, and others struggling against U.S. backed regimes, hardly the activities of a group tied to PNAC or the CIA.

I remember how in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. government operatives would seek to divide and weaken the left by spreading false rumors among the Black Panthers and in anti-war and socialist organizations that certain dedicated activists were FBI informants, police agents, or CIA operatives. Some activists were naive enough to believe such lies and spread the rumors as well.

NarcoNews' School of Authentic Journalism is a threat to the some powerful interests and I wouldn't be surprised if, as a result, there are those who seek to undermine it.

Stu Piddy said...

Hello Steven.

You said the following:

"I am one of a number of progressives who have worked with both Narco News and ICNC, and the idea that either are CIA or PNAC related are ridiculous."

Peter Ackerman wrote a piece with Michael Ledeen who is a member of PNAC. Peter Ackerman is a member of the ICNC. That's a connection from PNAC to the ICNC and therefore a connection from ICNC to PNAC.

That’s factual information. There is a connection. It does not make Narco News a unit of the CIA or a front for PNAC. What is does however, has not been explained, except to call an actual relation ridiculous. It isn't ridiculous.

The question is simple. Why did Peter Ackerman write this article with the notorious Michael Ledeen? What is their relationship? Why do they have a relationship?

Steven you said the following:
“Neither ICNC nor anybody on the staff or working in any other capacity with the organization has ever had anything to do with PNAC of the CIA. None of us would be on the academic advisory board if it did. 
”

Again, we have the article written by Michael Ledeen and Peter Ackerman. In the article it suggests non-violent revolutions in quite a number of nations. Michael Ledeen is not however, non violent. In his book on Machiavelli he suggests assassinations, kidnapping, and presumably torture. All the things the U.S government has done has been videotaped doing or put on trial for doing ...as in Italy recently.

This is from Michael Ledeen’s book on Machiavelli:

“Paradoxically, preserving liberty may require the rule of a single leader—a dictator—willing to use those dreaded ‘extraordinary measures, which few know how, or are willing, to employ.’ (p. 173)


I never said that Ackerman was a CIA asset. But the question does arise simply because of his own associations that are literal associations, not mental associations from my mind or point of view. If you associate with PNAC members as Ackerman does, you compromise your “liberal”, even libertarian status and the status to a lesser degree of those around you.

This is common sense stuff. You don’t need to be a professor as your are to see how things are related and then to ask questions as I have.

You say the ICNC has never sought to overthrow the leadership of other nations. It is called the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict. It is a center that promotes non-violent conflict by it’s own definition and that conflict is intended to “end tyranny”.

This is from Michael Ledeen’s and Peter Ackerman’s article:

“Freedom-loving people know what we want to see in Beirut, Damascus and Tehran: the central square bursting with citizens demanding an end to tyranny, massive strikes shutting down the national economy, the disintegration of security forces charged with maintaining order, and the consequent departure of the tyrants and the beginnings of a popularly elected government.”

They are advocating the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran. Through Non-violent means. Please demonstrate with factual information your opinion.

You in your last paragraph I think are suggesting that it may be that I am trying to undermine Narco News as an agent of the CIA or some other agency.

And on the basis of what? That Peter Ackerman associates with PNAC members and at least one member of the CIA?

I find some articles in Narco News interesting. I don’t think Narco News is a CIA front company or that Al Giordano is a member of the CIA. I’m not sure about that. But that’s my impression.

I think something doesn’t make sense, however. And I’m interested in finding out what’s going on.

As far as Ackerman and Duvall are concerned, I think they may very well be connected to “intelligence” agencies either directly or indirectly.


Stu

Stu Piddy said...

Correction: I mean to say the following from the above comment.

Peter Ackerman wrote a piece with Michael Ledeen who is a member of PNAC. Peter Ackerman is a member of the ICNC. That's a connection from PNAC to the ICNC and therefore a connection of unknown quality (to me) from PNAC to Narco News.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Piddy: Like Stephen Zunes, I've also worked with ICNC, and I'm afraid that Mr. Ackerman writing a single op-ed with someone is zero evidence of any relationship with the co-author beyond the words in the article. If all the scholars and pundits who'd ever co-written op-eds were to be held responsible for the other writings and doings of their co-authors, all of them would eventually be responsible for everything that any of them were doing, which of course is impossible. Zunes actually did a trenchant article on why this kind of logic ("X knows Y who knows Z, so X is responsible for what Z does") doesn't hold water: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5643.

As for the line you quote from the Ledeen op-ed, approximately those kinds of conditions were present in over 50 nonviolent transitions to democracy since 1970, and virtually none have been called "overthrows" of governments. After broad-based nonviolent resistance dissolves the legitimacy of the power-holders, the transitions usually are marked by resignations, round-table negotiations, new elections, or constitutional changes -- hardly the stuff of revolutions. ICNC mainly sends out a lot of books and videos around the world and their people speak at a lot of conferences, like Al Giordano's school. They don't have the capacity to be revolutionary advisors if they wanted to. They help people understand how civil resistance works. If they tried to manipulate events themselves, no popular campaign or movement would listen to them.

Stu Piddy said...

I'm not interested in harming Al Giordano or Narco News.

As i have said many of the articles are informative.

What I am interested is ...the truth. Only because it's more interesting and useful than whatever passes for the truth.

I read the entire Zunes article you directed me to.

It's partly about how Barack Obama's associations or acquaintances with various people are used to make him look like a "radical of the left".

I have never had that problem. I have always seen him as a extremely conservative person who was pro military, pro israel, pro capitalist, pro business and in general very anti socialist.

But his presentation of himself is one that uses the words of the left while his actions move to the right.

I have written about Obama in my little blog here.

http://bushplanet.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_archive.html

I recognized in 2006 he was extremely conservative.

My point is that just because some individual or group presents themselves through language that might appeal to the left, what matters is their actual actions. Where they say they are going is one thing. Where they go is another.

Now, I have been hesitating to present what more I have discovered. And I have to wonder why I'm hesitating.

Stu Piddy

the_last_name_left said...

what is it? post it?

This Zunes guy seems to run around rebutting criticism of ICNC/Ackerman/Duvall.

He always takes pains to stress how very credible he and the others are. But are they credible? That's the entire issue?

I don't believe them.

WTF has multi-millionaire, former financier and junk bond leveraged buyout extraordinaire Ackerman got to do with non-violent protests around the world? WTF is his interest? Why doesn't he talk to his well-appointed friends in the American Foreign Policy establishment if he wants to do something for the world's oppressed?

And always this thing that ICNC never really has any effect anywhere.........though it doesn't stop them.

Zunes protests that ICNC wasn't in venezuela, wasn't in Serbia, wasn't involved in georgia blah blah blah. And all they do is send out "some pamphlets"?

One wonders why they do it?

And why do they claim to be so successful? When they're accused of interference, they claim they never did anything.........

The whole thing stinks imo - and I'm extremely disappointed to see Al Giordano taking money from these people......don't do it, Al?

socrates said...

It's kind of funny to see all these various fat cat sell-outs running around the internet spewing propaganda. Who the fock do they think they're fooling?

To top it off, they insinuate that the few of us are cointelpro for merely pointing out easily verified facts connecting fake peaceniks with military, CIA, and whatnot.

For example, Zunes downplays any connection between Duvall and Woolsey. Good luck doing the impossible!

Duvall helped launch the Arlington Institute. Woolsey used to be one of its directors.

We're supposed to believe peaceniks would have military clients? Maybe it shouldn't be called a think tank but a stink tank.

According to Oak Grove Systems Inc.,

The Arlington Institute (TAI), a developer of government intelligence software, was engaged to create a government intelligence research solution. Using Reactor 5 from Oak Grove Systems as a web services orchestration (WSO) tool, TAI created an automation solution to research and track thousands of ideas and topics from thousands of sources.... TAI was contracted to create a government intelligence research software application to collect, store, extract and analyze data for tracking global trends and potential surprise events. Many government agencies currently running these research processes are heavily dependent upon manual processes to scour the Internet or classified data sources, clip articles and compile them into central repositories for later dissemination and analysis. The Arlington Institute set out to create a coherent and all-encompassing system that would provide a collaborative environment integrating a large number of 3rd party tools in an analytic workbench in support of the government analysts.

Yet, we're the ones whose intentions should be held under the microscope? Grow up Zunes along with the rest of you astroturfers. Either deal with the facts or ignore us. You're all getting very tedious with your obfuscations, strawmen arguments, ad hominems, and evoking of authority.

Up until recently, Peter Ackerman chaired Freedom House. It used to be chaired by Woolsey. Seriously, who the fock do you think you're fooling?

Ackerman has given funds to Giordano. Giordano promotes Ackerman and Duvall. Giordano writes glowing prose for another fake progressive named Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of the Daily Kos. In 2006, Moulitsas said the CIA is a liberal institution he'd have no problem working for. Seriously Zunes and the rest of your ilk, who the fock do you think you're fooling?

Yet, we're anonymous cowards. Or we're on McCarthyite witch hunts. Or we are cuckoo banana conspiracy theorists. Or we are Cointelpro CIA, a phrase Giordano came up with. Or we are aiding the counter-insurgency. WHO THE FOCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING?

You say Ackerman is an independent libertarian and Duvall is a liberal Democrat. Here, I'll throw you a bone for the next time you go astroturfing your kinder and gentler imperialism. Post that Ackerman is a moderate progressive. I think it sounds better. But never confuse yourselves with authentic, lefty peaceniks. Shove that into your supercomputers and smoke it.

the_last_name_left said...

Well said, Soc.

Here's a good example of what we're on about, Mr Zunes et al:

There's no dispute Ackerman was Freedom House (FH)- he was chairman until Jan 09!

Freedom House's current report on "freedom" in Venezuela (which they call "partly free") mentions a report critical of Venezuela, compiled by Transparency International (TI). According to Freedom House, you'd think TI is a respectable NGO.

However, TI has Mercedes De Freitas on its board, and she supported the Carmona coup against Chavez's legitimately elected DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT.

Not only that, but a certain Gustavo Coronel also was on TI's board - Coronel was also a memeber of Fedecamaras, the business association of which the head, Pedro Carmona, led the Venezuelan coup. There is no doubt Coronel, formerly(?) of TI supported the coup.

Coronel is not someone whose word anyone should take as a disinterested observer on "freedom" anywhere - for instance, he was head of US Inter Aid Development Bank central american operations during the time it heavily funded American aggression in central America in the 80s.

This is what Freedom House supports when it promotes TI and its views.

And what of Mercedes de Freitas - report compiler for TI - as mentioned by Freedom House?

Well, the UK Guardian said of De Freitas's TI report on the Venezuelan oil industry that

The credibility of Transparency International, a global "non-partisan" organisation which "promotes transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and in business", is on the line. Their latest report on Venezuela, which was produced after months of research, is factually inaccurate in almost every respect. TI say that they "stand by their report" and stand by the person who compiled the data, an anti-Chávez activist who backed the 2002 military coup against democracy.Link

And the compiler of the report - Mercedes De Freitas - emailed NED on the night of the coup saying "it was not a coup". (Because US funding would cease?)

What does "Freedom House" make of all this? In its report on Venezuela it says only that

Transparency International (TI) ranked Venezuela a dismal 162 out of 180 countries surveyed in its 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Link

What the hell do Freedom House expect TI to say when TI has people like De Freitas and Coronel onboard, and when they produce lies like TI's report into Venezuelan oil industry?

De Freitas works for NED sponsored NGOs in Venezuela - and has her lies published by another NGO, Transparency International, which are further amplified by the NED related Freedom House, and its acolytes, such as the fabulously wealthy former House-er, Peter Ackerman.

There is simply no way I am going to believe people like Ackerman and organisations like Freedom House aren't fully aware and consciously going about subversion - of democratically elected Chavez, for example.

Why should I believe it? You must be joking!

TI Venezuela exists to do wht it does - so that Freedom House and its ilk can trumpet their lies. And Freedom House exists to do what it does - trumpet the lies of TI.

It beggars belief that Ackerman isn't aware of all this. It beggars belief he isn't funding it out of his financial-corporate $billion.

And all in the name of "freedom", of course.

Sorry - I don't believe a word of it.

socrates said...

Thanks TLNL and also for making posts for Al Giordano on this thread. Unfortunately, he's yet to answer any of your profound questions.

I found a propaganda piece put out by Stephen Zunes.

The Left Also Embraces the Cooties Effect

He downplays the connections between Duvall and Woolsey. He mentions the Arlington Institute. He astroturfs it as being just another think tank. He mentions nothing about their ties to the military and intelligence.

For some odd reason, he also neglects to mention Freedom House. Oh wait, he argues that Noam Chomsky has defended ICNC. I see no evidence of that. Perhaps it is true. But if he mentioned Freedom House, then folks might be able to find out that Noam has had harsh words for that organisation.

Zunes mentions Ackerman's wife being on a George Soros' affiliated board yet offers nothing on Freedom House. As I wrote above, Ackerman and Woolsey can be linked through Freedom House. But that doesn't help Zunes' thesis that Duvall and Woolsey cannot be closely linked. Ackerman and Duvall are tied to the hip through the ICNC.

I think what we appear to have here are a "radical peacenik" in Giordano and an "intellectual progressive" in Zunes spreading their wings all over the net running interference for kinder and gentler imperialism. Where's George Orwell when we need him?

Even though disturbing connections can be easily verified, they continue to march along astroturfing those with questions as being conspiracy theorists connecting dots out of thin air. Unfortunately for them, the reader decides.

Slave Revolt said...

Interesting points here. I think Zunes is a wee bit too non-critical of these think-tanks, and non-violent advocates, etc.

It is fact that the CIA funds publishing, underwrites journalism, etc.--this has long been part of its modus operandi.

I find Al Giordando extremely silent when it comes to the ideas and critical writing of Noam Chomsky. Also, I have seen his journalism graduates castigate and impune Chomsky on the most flimsy, childish grounds on The Field´s discussion forum (from which I have been banned).

Anyone that censors comments from a discussion forum is of dubious character. Of course, there can be exceptions, but Al is a serial censor, and he strikes me as an authoritarian, patriarchical figure. In short, Al is not an honest guy.

All organizations that solicit money have a duty to make their funds and dispersments absolutely transparent. That Al doesn´t even begin to do this--this should speak volumes to anyone with a propensity for critical thinking.

Lastly, Al entered Honduras with some Serbian dude pimping the virtures of non-violence in the face of the entrenchment of the coup government. Then, the Serbian dude totally disappears from the picture.

Al´s reporting on the Honduras coup is full of contraditions, with vast spans of time where he totally ignores what is happening in the country.

He despises Eva Golinger, whose reporting on US involvement in the Honduran coup has been superlative.

Compared to Golinger, Giordano´s analysis is totally lame.

Slave Revolt said...

Interesting points here. I think Zunes is a wee bit too non-critical of these think-tanks, and non-violent advocates, etc.

It is fact that the CIA funds publishing, underwrites journalism, etc.--this has long been part of its modus operandi.

I find Al Giordando extremely silent when it comes to the ideas and critical writing of Noam Chomsky. Also, I have seen his journalism graduates castigate and impune Chomsky on the most flimsy, childish grounds on The Field´s discussion forum (from which I have been banned).

Anyone that censors comments from a discussion forum is of dubious character. Of course, there can be exceptions, but Al is a serial censor, and he strikes me as an authoritarian, patriarchical figure. In short, Al is not an honest guy.

All organizations that solicit money have a duty to make their funds and dispersments absolutely transparent. That Al doesn´t even begin to do this--this should speak volumes to anyone with a propensity for critical thinking.

Lastly, Al entered Honduras with some Serbian dude pimping the virtures of non-violence in the face of the entrenchment of the coup government. Then, the Serbian dude totally disappears from the picture.

Al´s reporting on the Honduras coup is full of contraditions, with vast spans of time where he totally ignores what is happening in the country.

He despises Eva Golinger, whose reporting on US involvement in the Honduran coup has been superlative.

Compared to Golinger, Giordano´s analysis is totally lame.

Stu Piddy said...

The damning connection between Michael Ledeen and Peter Ackerman is really significant.

Ledeen is an admirer of Mussolini, he's beyond far right...Why does Ackerman associate with Ledeen on the one hand and fund Narco News on the other?

The answer has to be...because he see Al Giordano's Narco News in a sympathetic light with the views that he shares with Ledeen...

And that is...to promote democracy (captilalism) thoughout the world by underming existing democratic and non democratic governments under the rubric of "non violent CONFLICT".

Non violent sounds appealing...but what about the CONFLICT part....he sets up the strikes, the work stoppage, the banks, and then when the fighting starts....he says....this is not the way to resolve these issues.

Quite disingenious.


Stu piddy