Because you’re worth it !
Yesterday the New York Times posted a story titled: “Researchers or Corporate Allies? Think Tanks Blur the Line”.
[…] Think tanks, which position themselves as “universities without students,” have power in government policy debates because they are seen as researchers independent of moneyed interests. But in the chase for funds, think tanks are pushing agendas important to corporate donors, at times blurring the line between researchers and lobbyists. And they are doing so while reaping the benefits of their tax-exempt status, sometimes without disclosing their connections to corporate interests.
Thousands of pages of internal memos and confidential correspondence between Brookings and other donors — like JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank; K.K.R., the global investment firm; Microsoft, the software giant; and Hitachi, the Japanese conglomerate — show that financial support often came with assurances from Brookings that it would provide “donation benefits,” including setting up events featuring corporate executives with government officials, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. (link)
As a person who has floated though the disconcerting world of Think Tank politics, the Times article was a worthy notation not only because of the substance within it, but also -and perhaps more aptly- because in the world of intellectual property amalgamation such a news article (research proposition) doesn’t just happen organically as a matter of happenstance.
Something always spurs an author, or a media outlet, to take an interest in a subject that is generally too opaque and wonky to be considered ‘interesting’.
When topics are ‘out there‘ something has to happen to peak the inquiring mind. Something always precedes the writing; something generally and often loosely attached to the content.
So we turn to the 8’x4’ white board and put a “sticky note”, curiosor, for later reference. What could spur the New York Times to be looking quizzically at the motives of Think Tanks?
Well, it didn’t take long to see what connectivity tissue piqued that curiosity….
Today, The New York Times ‘hosts’ an open letter from a consortium of political policy wonks, former policy advisers, who are now roaming amid the bloodstream of the corporate policy world – and who, as an outcome of their corporate influence, have a vested interest in the 2016 presidential race:
(New York Times) Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
Mr. Trump, the officials warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.”
The letter says Mr. Trump would weaken the United States’ moral authority and questions his knowledge of and belief in the Constitution. It says he has “demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding” of the nation’s “vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the democratic values” on which American policy should be based. And it laments that “Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself.”
“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” the letter states, though it notes later that many Americans “have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us.”
Among the most prominent signatories are Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representive and, until 2012, president of the World Bank. Two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also signed, as did Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense. (read more)
The letter is also available HERE in pdf format.
Transparently absent (in my opinion by design, aka ‘risk’) from the list of notables is former White House adviser, and later Bush Cabinet Member, Ms. Condoleezza Rice.
There’s a host of other notable names also missing, but for the sake of comprehensive understanding we’ll just note the transparent absence of former CIA Director George Tenet.
The former national security officials who are included on the list all have one thing in common, WAR.
Specifically, taking the United States -through espoused policy objectives- into war.
Every one of them has a history within, and now a contracted relationship with, the industrial war machinery.
The Absent Names – In the summer of 2001 CIA Director George Tenet warned of a pending domestic terrorist attack from al-Qaeda through the use of some form of domestic transportation vehicle.
Senior policy adviser Condi Rice dismissed the concerns of Tenet, and shelved his assembled pre-9/11 warnings. Director Tenet demanded the information be given to President Bush, and after multiple weeks of escalating internal conflict was finally allowed by Rice to present the intel findings to the President.
President George W Bush listened to Tenet, then dismissed the warning(s) telling the CIA director he had “covered his ass“. Weeks later the 9-11-01 attack took place.
Post 9-11 the voices outlined in the letter today, took full control of the forward U.S. policy. In essence, it was every one of these voices who participated in framing a self-fulfilling prophecy which forced the U.S. to go to war in the broader middle east including Iraq against out own interests.
These pro-war voices now stand in opposition to Donald Trump, to the direct benefit of Hillary Clinton.
Allow that fact to fully absorb into your psyche.
Also ask yourself, what do these 50 voices have to lose?