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Nigel Farage calls on EU to investigate George Soros funding, collusion

RT | November 14, 2017

Nigel Farage says while Russia is accused of funding Britain’s ‘Leave’ campaign, financier George Soros’ recent $18 billion donation to pro-EU charity Open Society has escaped scrutiny. “This is where the real international political collusion is,” Farage says.

Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Farage told fellow MEPs he believes that when it comes to international collusion, “we are looking in the wrong place.” He says Soros’ influence in Brussels is “truly extraordinary,” adding: “I fear we could be looking at the biggest level of international, political collusion in history.”

Farage, the leader of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group, believes Soros has spent billions in the EU to undermine the nation state. “When we are talking about offshore money, when we are talking about political subversion, when we are talking about collusion, I wonder if we are looking in the wrong place.

“And I say that because George Soros recently gave Open Society, which of course campaigns for freedom of movement of people and supranational structures like the European Union, $18 billion. And his influence here and in Brussels is truly extraordinary.”

Farage said Open Society boasts it held 42 meetings in 2016 with the European Commission, and has published a book of reliable “friends” in the European Parliament. There are 226 names on the list, he says. He told those MEPs he would be writing to them to establish whether they had accepted money or help from billionaire investor and liberal campaigner Soros.

“If we’re going to have a debate, and talk about full, political and financial transparency, well let’s do it. So I shall be writing today to all 226 of you, asking some pretty fair questions: Have you ever received funds directly or indirectly from Open Society? How many of their events have you attended? Could you please give us a list of all the representatives including George Soros?”

He is also calling on the European Parliament to set up a special committee to look into the issue. “I say this at a time when the use of money and the implications it may have had on the Brexit result or the Trump election has reached virtual hysteria.

“Just last week, the Electoral Commission launched an investigation to find out whether the Leave campaign took offshore money or Russian money. This came about as a result of questions asked in the House of Commons by one Ben Bradshaw, someone linked to an organization called ‘Open Society.’”

In October, Soros transferred the “bulk of his wealth” to Open Society, it confirmed. Writing on his website, the financier said: “My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people. This allows me to stand on controversial issues: in fact, it obliges me to do so because others cannot.”

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

The West’s Weaponisation of Corruption Indexes

By Joseph Thomas – New Eastern Outlook – 08.10.2016

For the Southeast Asian state of Thailand, overcoming corruption could be one of several essential steps required to fully tap the human and natural resources this already influential ASEAN state has benefited from for centuries. However, to tackle corruption, the nation must first define what it is, and what it hopes to achieve by confronting and overcoming it.

Currently, the focus unfortunately appears to be on addressing Thailand’s score upon the so-called Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) put out by alleged nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Transparency International.

Despite describing itself as an NGO, Transparency International’s funding is dominated by the governments of the United States and the European Union.

More specifically, as listed on Transparency International’s own website, its funding comes specifically from the US State Department, the European Commission, the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and controversial Open Society, chaired by convicted financial criminal George Soros.

Such funding presents an alarming conflict of interest, considering that these are the same interests who, in Thailand and across the rest of ASEAN, have worked actively to overthrow governments and undermine local institutions, seeking to overwrite them with organisations and institutions promoted by and serving foreign interests via NED and Open Society specifically.

Transparency International Leverages CPI as a Geopolitical Weapon 

Thus, Thailand’s score on the CPI is more a result of politically-motivated interference in Thailand’s internal affairs than it is an honest appraisal of the nation’s corruption. Thailand’s low score and pressure placed upon it by the West to improve this score results not from genuine concern regarding corruption, but instead from the fact that the current government successfully ousted a regime sponsored by and working for Western special interests.

Attempting to “improve” Thailand’s score on a politically-motivated and thus illegitimate index is, to say the least, an exercise in futility.

Despite this glaring reality, there are some in the government who believe improving the nation’s standings on this index should still be a priority. They do so not because a better score will actually address corruption in Thailand in any meaningful manner, thus giving Thais greater confidence and trust in government institutions, but to instead impress foreign investors who a nation like Thailand should not be depending on to begin with.

It is an approach doomed to fail because it is an approach that fundamentally misdiagnoses the problem and thus prescribes the wrong solution.

Alternative Paths

In reality, corruption in Thailand cannot be defined or addressed by Transparency International’s politically-motivated, thus meaningless metrics. Instead, corruption in Thailand, if understood as unprofessionalism and impropriety among government institutions, hindering both the efficient administration of the nation as well as the government’s interaction with the people and local businesses, must be confronted by local interests for local interests.

The Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) (website in Thai only), comprised of business leaders, local media and activists, seeks to confront corruption in Thailand not to improve the nation’s standings on a meaningless foreign-devised scale, but to improve the efficiency of government institutions to better facilitate their administration of the country, to make doing business easier and fairer as well as to improve faith and confidence across Thai society in the government institutions they depend on for the smooth functioning of society.

As ACT incrementally achieves these goals, it helps improve and strengthen Thailand, even if such efforts are not reflected on meaningless indexes like the CPI.

Their activities include exposing corruption using their ties to the media, holding events to raise public awareness regarding both their rights and how they are being violated by corruption and by working with the government to pass legislation to rein in corruption on various levels of society.

In the end, ACT is attempting to solve corruption for Thailand, with their “index score” determined by the improved efficiency of government institutions and the public’s trust in them.

ACT has so far proven itself impartial, calling out the previous government of Yingluck Shinawatra for its blatant and systemic corruption, as well as condemning impropriety and nepotism amid the current government. Unlike Transparency International and its CPI which only seeks to leverage “corruption perceptions” as a political weapon, ACT is fighting corruption for the sake of fighting corruption, because its membership is comprised of those directly affected by it, regardless of who heads the national government.

The current government should work (and is working) closely with groups like ACT to expose and rein in corruption toward very specific goals such as improving the efficiency of government institutions in the administration of their responsibilities and improving public trust in these institutions. Rather than citing the meaningless CPI devised by the politically-motivated Transparency International, Thailand should develop its own metrics for measuring both the level of corruption and gauge success in confronting it.
Thailand, and other developing nations, must also devise a means of communicating their progress in confronting corruption to the world in order to sidestep the “weaponisation” of indexes like Transparency International’s CPI.

By confronting corruption, nations strengthen themselves not only within by improving the efficiency with which resources are utilised toward the progress of their respective nations, they also strengthen themselves against foreign interests that would seek to exploit “corruption perceptions” and use it to seek leverage over them. In this sense, fighting corruption is not only good for business, it is essential for national security.

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exposing US-Funded “NGOs”

From Moscow to Myanmar, US-European funded organisations undermine the essential work of genuine NGOs

The New Atlas | August 9, 2016

A nongovernmental organisation (NGO) is described as a not-for-profit organisation independent from states and international governments. They are funded by donations and facilitated by volunteers drawn from the communities they serve.

Genuine NGOs fitting this description fulfil a vital role within the nations they work regarding issues including education, healthcare, the media, the environment, technology, and economic development.

They often perform their work in parallel with government organisations and may even cooperate with their national government. At other times, they provide a necessary but constructive check and balance to deficiencies present within a state.

However, NGOs can be abused. Foreign governments and financially motivated special interests can use the structure and appeal of NGOs as vectors to project unwarranted, coercive power and influence.

Funded not by the communities they claim to serve, but by these foreign interests, they often operate under the pretext of upholding the legitimate  roles and responsibilities of genuine NGOs while in reality undermining a targeted nation’s government, its people, its institutions, and national peace and stability. Ironically, such organisations also undermine the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of real NGOs.

Foreign interests seek to do this for a number of reasons including pressuring a targeted government to make concessions regarding bilateral relations, competing with and eventually overrunning state institutions, and even replacing a nation’s entire government.

How the US State Department Took Over Myanmar’s Ministry of Information 

An extreme example of this can be seen in Southeast Asia’s Myanmar, where the Ministry of Information is now firmly under the control of Pe Myint, trained in “journalism” by a US government-funded organisation posing as an NGO, called the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation.

Pe Myint is also a member of a political party supported by a large collection of US and British funded organisations (National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Open Society, USAID, etc.), which in turn was propelled into power during recent elections also influenced heavily by organisations posing as NGOs funded by these same foreign interests.

Previously an independent institution of Myanmar, the Ministry of Information is now firmly under the influence of the US State Department. This may explain uncharacteristic comments regarding “substandard democracy” published by a national newspaper it controls directed at neighbouring Thailand ahead of the August 7, 2016 Thai referendum.

Henceforth, the Ministry has been made to serve the best interests of the United States, not Myanmar, indicated by the fact that its recent comments only risk jeopardising what would otherwise be constructive and beneficial bilateral relations with Thailand.

In this example, foreign-funded organisations not only pressured the government of Myanmar to accept the conditions in which a foreign-backed opposition came to power, but these foreign-funded organisations also helped create an entirely parallel government that are now overwriting Myanmar’s sovereignty.

Recognise the Threat

These foreign-funded organisations masquerading as NGOs are more than just foreign-funded “charities,” “rights advocates,” or “media platforms.” This can be discerned simply by examining the intermediary organisations providing these groups money and examining the special interests and agendas they in turn serve.

The United State National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for example, lists among its 2013 sponsors (.pdf) petrochemical giant Chevron, Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs, US State Department-connected and privacy usurping tech-giant Google and the US Chamber of Commerce which itself represents corporations ranging from defence contractors to oil companies to banks, as well as agricultural and pharmaceutical giants. Individual donors include pro-war Republican politicians including Frank Carlucci, Paula Dobriansky, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Zoellick.

(It would be exponentially more difficult for foreign funded organisatons posing as NGOs to attract volunteers and local support if the true nature of their funding was transparently and repeatedly disclosed to the communities they allegedly serve.)

NED’s board of directors represents a similar and troubling convergence of special interests who directly contradict the alleged purpose of both NED itself, and the many organisations it funds around the world.

Unfortunately, many people who work for foreign-funded organisations posing as NGOs are unaware of such facts. Senior leadership of these organisations often go through great lengths to conceal their foreign funding to avoid scrutiny and even in some cases, to avoid properly paying people who are led to believe no funds are available and thus are asked to “volunteer” to help. Those few who are aware of this funding, are usually unaware of who and what NED and other organisations like them truly represent.

To put it simply, any organisation or institution serves only the interests of those who support it. An NGO supported by local donations and volunteers serves its local community. A foreign-funded organisation posing as an NGO serves foreign interests.

And simpler still, an organisation funded by a foreign government cannot possibly be characterised as “nongovernmental.” Even at face value, this notion strains credibility.

Case Study: Prachatai, Thailand 

After being caught concealing foreign funding, Bangkok-based media platform Prachatai disclosed several million baht in US State Department funding, Open Society grants and funds from several European governments.

Remarkably, Prachatai was (and still is) soliciting donations on their website. They also have categorically failed to update their foreign funding in English (since their first and only disclosure in 2011) and have never disclosed their foreign funding to their Thai readers.

(US Ambassor Kristie Kenney in US State Department-funded Prachatai’s office in Bangkok, Thailand.)

Independent journalists attempting to ascertain the true depth of Prachatai’s connections to the US State Department were told that Prachatai had none, and that the money was provided to them unconditionally.

In reality, as revealed by Wikileaks, Prachatai’s staff remains in constant contact with the US Embassy in Bangkok, with US ambassadors and political counsellors making regular visits to their office off of Ratchada Road, and with Prachatai’s director Chiranuch Premchaiporn making regular, lengthy and detailed reports about Thailand’s internal political affairs to US Embassy staff.

In the infamous Cablegate leak, the US Embassy in Bangkok sent off as many as 7 cables regarding or referencing Prachatai and its activities within the country and in particular its defence of agitators attempting to undermine the nation’s institutions and political stability.

For the US State Department, Prachatai exists as a state-funded asset — a constant pressure point to extort concessions from the Thai government with and to coerce from them the settings in which US-backed political forces might take power.

Under the guise of defending “free speech” and “human rights,” Prachatai networks deeply with US-backed political party Pheu Thai, its street front the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD or “red shirts”) and a large number of other US-funded organisations posing as NGOs and academic associations — many of which share the office building Prachatai is currently based in.

Additionally, Prachatai communicates and coordinates regularly with foreign media staff based in Thailand, particularly those who gravitate around the swank Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand clubhouse and bar in downtown Bangkok.

Together they stage public relations events aimed at portraying the current Thai government as overbearing, dictatorial and losing popularity and control. In reality, the events include the same handful of stand-ins and utilise intentionally deceptive methods to conflate the size and impact of each staged event.

By participating in such events, the foreign media betrays the principles it allegedly represent, creating the news rather than objectively covering it. For Prachatai, posing as an NGO but clearly functioning as an extension of US interests in Thailand, it too represents a betrayal of true, community-supported activism.

Ending the Charade 

In all honesty Prachatai’s activities could easily be tolerated by the Thai government, if only for one concession — that Prachatai and other organisations like it fully and repeatedly disclosed in English and in Thai, their existence as foreign-funded government organisations rather than pose as a genuine NGO.

Since it has operated for years and failed to fulfil its own responsibilities toward transparency to the society it claims to serve, it may be time for Thailand to pass legislation to force foreign-funded organisations like Prachatai to come clean.

Other nations have adopted comprehensive legislation to help protect real NGOs from those with foreign funding merely posing as such.

(The graffiti reads, “foreign agent,” written in Russian..)

In Russia, legislation now requires foreign-funded organisations to declare on all written material and verbally declare before all audio statements, their relationship with foreign interests. Those that fail to register as foreign-funded organisations or fail to disclose all of their funding, face liquidation.

While the US and the myriad organisations it was running in Moscow predictably decried the legislation as “oppressive,” some might appreciate the irony of “pro-democracy activists” resisting calls for greater transparency, a fundamental prerequisite for a democratic society.

Foreign-funded organisations posing as NGOs are more than a mere nuisance, or even simply a means by foreign governments and special interests to apply coercive pressure on a nation’s government and institutions. They represent a patient, concerted effort to compete with and eventually fully replace a nation’s existing sovereign institutions. This threat should not be underestimated nor should it be tolerated.

And beyond a threat to national security,  these foreign-funded organisations attract and squander a nation’s human resources, while undermining the very legitimate and essential work performed by honest, locally-supported NGOs.

September 8, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment