Image: A visual representation of the corporate-financier interests represented on the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) board of directors. NDItech falls under the umbrella of NED. While NED and NDItech pose as fighting for "democracy," their corporate-financier interests lie poorly disguised just beneath the surface. Surely Goldman Sachs, Exxon, and the SOPA-sponsoring US Chamber of Commerce don’t care about democracy or freedom – on the Internet or elsewhere.
May 1, 2013 (LD) – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is one of many tentacles descending from the US State Department and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) front. Despite NED and NDI’s lofty mission statements about "promoting democracy worldwide," the interests they represent are clearly those of the Fortune 500, including big-oil, retail, media, banking, and defense. This convergence of corporate-financier interests pervade the US government from the top, via corporate-funded policy think tanks that direct US policy at home and abroad, and out the bottom through corporate-chaired and funded NGOs that oversee the execution of this policy.
NED, for example includes the following directors:
- William Galston: Brookings Institution (board of trustees can be found on page 35 here).
- Moises Naim: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (corporate funding here).
- Robert Miller: corporate lawyer.
- Larry Liebenow: US Chamber of Commerce (a chief proponent of SOPA, ACTA, and CISPA), Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
- Anne-Marie Slaughter: US State Department, Council on Foreign Relations (corporate members here), director of Citigroup, McDonald’s Corporation, and Political Strategies Advisory Group.
- Richard Gephardt: US Representative, Boeing lobbyist, Goldman Sachs, Visa, Ameren Corp, and Waste Management Inc lobbyist, corporate consultant, consultant & now director of Ford Motor Company, supporter of the military invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
- Marilyn Carlson Nelson: CEO of Carlson, director of Exxon Mobil.
- Stephen Sestanovich: US State Department, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, CFR.
- Judy Shelton: director of Hilton Hotels Corporation & Atlantic Coast Airlines.
- Other directors include Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, Will Marshall, and Vin Weber – all certified warmongers and signatories of pro-war papers imploring the US to invade and expand its military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, and now Syria.
The NED’s game is growing old, and many nations not only recognize the threat these insidious organizations pose through their stable of NGOs, but have now devised effective strategies to expose and purge them from within their borders. Russia has led the way, forcing NGOs to reveal openly their funding, and thus compromising their perceived legitimacy and neutrality – a major problem for NED-funded fronts who attempt to portray themselves as "independent," as election-monitor GOLOS attempted to do before Russian elections in 2011.
mage: A screenshot from NED’s official website, listing GOLOS as a recipient of NED funding, which in turn is provided by the US State Department. Despite this overt conflict of interest – especially with NED subsidiary International Republican Institute chairman John McCain openly threatening Russia with "Arab Spring" unrest, "journalists" and GOLOS itself continue using the term "independent" election monitors. (click image to enlarge)
Thailand’s NED-funded front, Prachatai, also deceived its readers regarding the nature of its funding, and still to this day claims to be "independent" despite finally revealing substantial aid from foreign governments, including NED.
Old Dog, New Trick?
However, now, these interests are trying a new trick – co-opting the planet’s tech community, both to augment its current activities, and to blunt the devastating blow the tech community has so far dealt big-business special interests.
NED’s NDI has spun off NDItech DemocracyWorks which seeks to leverage emerging technology to manipulate and undermine targeted nations, just as NED has done through NGOs for years. NDItech’s website states:
The NDItech DemocracyWorks blog provides a platform for NDI to engage in ongoing conversations about the important and increasing role technology plays in politics and democratic development. The blog is managed by NDI’s ICT (information and communication technology) team.
NDI provides technical assistance to our democracy partners around the world including political parties, legislatures, civic groups, other organizations and individuals in more than 70 countries. Our programs help these groups strengthen democratic institutions, safeguard elections, advance citizen engagement, and promote open and accountable government in their countries. The ICT team assists NDI partners and staff members around the world integrate technology tools into our democracy assistance programs in innovative and sustainable ways.
A recent NDItech job listing stated:
The software engineer will develop and maintain software applications for NDI democracy programs around the world and for internal business applications. The ideal candidate is versatile and likes to work in a very dynamic environment on several projects in parallel. This position requires an engineer who is passionate about new technologies, who keeps current with software development trends, and who has the ability to not only code but also advise NDI staff and partners on using technology to meet objectives and to solve problems.
NDItech will in essence, be developing technology to bolster the many fake revolutions and armed violence the US State Department is busy orchestrating on behalf of the corporate-financier interests that direct US policy and both fund and chair NED, NDI, and now NDItech.
NDItech in Bed with SOPA, ACTA, CISPA Sponsors
Most ironically, when it was pointed out to NDItech that they were attempting to co-opt Internet activist Aaron Swartz’ work to help the very interests he fought against, they replied by stating:
"Not sure what you’re talking about. We’re strongly opposed to all those pieces of legislation and some of us knew Aaron."
The people at NDItech claim they "knew Aaron." They also feign ignorance regarding their organization being steered in by the US Chamber of Commerce, claimed by CNET to be "SOPA’s most aggressive defender." In fact, CNET wrote a 2011 article titled, "SOPA’s most aggressive defender: U.S. Chamber of Commerce," which stated: READ MORE>>