The Trojan horse was the earliest recorded military psyop. That psyop continues to be deployed on unsuspecting populations and it is just as useful as ever, but today’s tricksters have donned the mantle of philanthropy, and their Trojan horses are not wooden statues but non-governmental organizations offering “aid” to foreign nations. In today’s edition of The Corbett Report, we’ll learn about how NGOs are the deep state’s Trojan horses.
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Troy, 12th century BC.
The Greeks’ decade-long siege of Troy is drawing to a close. The cunning Odysseus has hit upon a plan to subvert the Trojans’ defenses. The Greeks build a giant wooden horse and then pretend to sail away, leaving the horse at the gates of Troy as an apparent offering to the goddess Athena. The Trojans, believing the gift will make their city impregnable, take it within the city gates.
But it is a trick. Odysseus and his men are hidden inside the hollow horse and they emerge during the night to open the gates and let in the Greek army, who have returned to take the city. The Trojans don’t get a chance to learn from their mistake; the Greeks sack the city and massacre its inhabitants.
The Trojan horse was the earliest recorded military psyop. The lesson of the story, recorded in the counsel to “beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” is that we should not let down our defenses when an erstwhile enemy offers us aid. Today, that counsel is as useful as ever, but today’s tricksters have donned the mantle of philanthropy, and their Trojan horses are not wooden statues but non-governmental organizations offering “aid” to foreign nations.
The bitter truth is that in a surprising number of cases, NGOs are the Deep State’s Trojan Horses.
This is The Corbett Report.
In 2015, Kyrgyzstan made what might seem at first glance to be a surprising move: It canceled a cooperation treaty with the US that had been in place since 1993. The treaty granted tax breaks and customs privileges to organizations like the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and gave their workers diplomatic immunity in the country. All of that came to an end after the US granted a human rights award to Azimjon Askarov, an activist swept up and thrown in jail for life for “creating a threat to civil peace and stability in society” after the Uzbek riots in South Kyrgyzstan in 2010.
Reaction from the usual Western outlets was swift and predictable: Kyrgyzstan has lost its mind. Or, to be more precise: It’s all Putin’s fault. Somehow. But don’t worry, the US will continue aiding Kyrgyzstan anyway, whether they like it or not, because that’s just how they roll. Go, Team America!
But Kyrgyzstan is not the only country to crack down on “aid” from foreign NGOs. In the last few years a series of countries, including Russia, China and India, have passed laws placing stricter controls on the operations of these organizations within their borders.
MARGARET HOWELL: Russia is throwing the smackdown on poor little old NGOs, these charitable organizations that were set up. Their reasoning behind them? That they might be trying to take down the Kremlin.
The Kremlin is moving to ban the US-backed MacArthur Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute and ten of their foreign groups, calling them “unwelcome organizations” by law. They’re also mulling over something called a “patriotic stop list.” Anyone caught collaborating with these groups, they’re facing six years in prison.
SOURCE: Russia Bans Foreign NGO’s
ANCHOR: China has passed the country’s first law regulating overseas NGOs, or non-governmental organizations.
HAO YUNHONG (VOICEOVER): The Chinese government always welcomes foreign NGOs to come to China to expand cultural and charity activities, and your achievements are highly spoken of by the Chinese authorities. But there are a few illegal exceptions in which NGOs came to China to harm its national security.
ANCHOR: The law covers activities of NGOs founded outside the Chinese mainland. They must register with public security authorities and declare where their funding is coming from.
REPORTER: India has placed Ford Foundation on a watch list and ordered all funds from the US-based nonprofit organization to be routed to recipients only after the Home Ministry’s approval. Citing national security concerns, the Home Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India to ensure funds given by Ford Foundation to Indian recipients be brought to its notice and dispersed only after its clearance. The ministry said in its order that it wanted to ensure funds coming from Ford Foundation were utilized for bona fide welfare activities without compromising on concerns of national interest and security.
REPORTER: An Egyptian Court has convicted 43 Egyptian and 16 American NGO workers for working illegally in Egypt while encouraging unrest. The defendants, who were mostly absent from court, were sentenced to up to five years in jail. The verdict calls for the closing of US nonprofit groups such as the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, which back in 2012 Egypt accused of receiving illegal funding and operating without licenses.
So what on earth is going on? Why are all of these countries kicking out all of these US-based non-governmental and quasi-governmental entities? Why would they be opposed to charity and aid?
The answer is not difficult to understand. These organizations are Trojan horses: designed to appear as gifts, but containing secret trap doors through which hidden forces can enter the country and covertly undermine the governments in question. This explanation only sounds outlandish to those who look no further than the organizations’ names and have no idea of their history of operations.
Take USAID, for example. Created in 1961 by executive order, it’s a US government agency that seeks “to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.” So why did President Morales kick them out of Bolivia in 2013? Because he’s crazy and irrational? Or because USAID ran a program through its remarkably frankly-named Office of Transition Initiatives that provided $10.5 million of funding for “Strengthening Democratic Institutions” throughout the country, including in opposition stronghold areas? Was it paranoia on Morales’ part, or merely the recognition that mealy-mouthed rhetoric about “Strengthening Democratic Institutions” is a thinly veiled euphemism for “overthrowing the government,” exactly as leaked diplomatic documents proved was the case for USAID’s identically named program in Venezuela?
EVA GOLINGER: USAID was originally an agency created to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief to countries in need, and throughout the 1980s and the 1990s and more into the 21st century it’s evolved into a political arm and a funding branch of the US government for what they call “promoting democracy.” And it’s actually now a part of US counterinsurgency campaigns that involve the Pentagon [and] the State Department, in terms of diplomacy and obviously war activities. And USAID is the third agency involved in counterinsurgency, and their goal precisely is to provide what they called aid for promoting democracy or stabilizing or helping a country through some kind of political transition or economic transition.
In the case of Venezuela, Venezuela is a country that is oil wealthy so it’s never qualified for any kind of direct USAID help. Therefore, USAID has never had an office here officially, and they didn’t actually come the country and set up an office until 2002, right before the coup d’etat against President Chavez. And the documents-internal documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act-reveal that the sole intention of setting up the office here in Venezuela was to aid opposition forces to eventually ouster Chavez from power.
Should governments trust USAID after it was revealed that the agency secretly created its own social media network in Cuba for the express purpose of undermining the Castro government? Or when it was revealed that USAID had sent a team of agents to Cuba under the guise of “health and civic programs” to incite rebellion amongst youth, including creating a phony HIV-prevention workshop that the agency itself described as the “perfect excuse” to “identify potential social-change actors?” Or when it was revealed that the agency had attempted (and miserably failed) to infiltrate Cuba’s hip-hop scene “to break the information blockade” and spark a youth movement of “social change” in the country?
ANCHOR: A US agency infiltrated the Cuban hip-hop world in an attempt to launch a youth movement against the government there. The secret operation tried to use Cuban rappers to build a network of young people seeking social change. But the Cuban regime caught on and the operation failed. In the process the US Agency for International Development unintentionally compromised a vibrant music culture that produced hard-hitting grassroots criticism of the country. Several artists that the agency tried to promote ended up leaving Cuba or stopped performing after pressure from the government.
In fact, USAID’s black ops programs for undermining foreign governments go all the way back to the founding of the agency itself. Some of the lowlights include USAID’s “Office of Public Safety” and its part in running a CIA front program for training foreign police in torture and terror tactics in Latin America; co-funding (with the CIA) the opium-smuggling Xieng Khouang Air Transport, a private airline for narcotics trafficker (and CIA point man in Laos) General Vang Pao; and co-funding opposition groups in Ukraine (prior to the 2014 coup) with Glenn Greenwald-backer Pierre Omidyar and, of course, George Soros.
FAREED ZAKARIA: George Soros, pleasure to have you on.
GEORGE SOROS: Same here.
ZAKARIA: First, on Ukraine: One of the things that many people recognize about you was that you-during the revolutions of 1989-funded a lot of dissident activity, civil society groups in Eastern Europe and Poland, the Czech Republic. Are you doing similar things in Ukraine?
SOROS: Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia, and the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.
But this NGO/Trojan horse problem is by no means confined to USAID and its associated organizations. Take the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as another example.
The official story is that the NED was created in 1983 by an act of Congress in order to “encourage the establishment and growth of democratic development” in target countries around the world in line with US foreign policy goals.
The actual story is that the NED was created expressly as a front for funding CIA activities inside target countries, a fact that Allen Weinstein, one of the members of the study group that led to NED’s founding, openly bragged about in The Washington Post: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” he was quoted as saying. Even more blatant is an admission by then-Director of Central Intelligence William Casey, who wrote a memo to the White House advocating for the creation of NED but cautioning that “we here [at the CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor do we wish to appear to be a sponsor or advocate.”
The NED’s participation in covert destabilization campaigns rivals that of USAID and, like USAID, involves too many operations to detail them all here. Lowlights include:
- Bankrolling the “Project Democracy” program that became the core of Oliver North’s secret government during the Iran-Contra years.
- Manipulating the elections in Nicaragua in 1990 to oust Ortega and the Sandinistas.
- Overthrowing the governments of Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991.
- And backing every major color revolution of the modern period, from the Rose Revolution in Georgia to the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan and Orange Revolution in Ukraine a decade ago to the recent unsuccessful “Electric Yerevan” in Armenia, and many others in between….
RON PAUL: What about Ukraine? I understand there are a few organizations that have been involved through this in Ukraine, trying to disturb that government. Of course, we have visited on this subject quite a bit, but I didn’t realize how much the NED is involved over there.
DANIEL MCADAMS: And this is a big issue, because I think the argument could definitely be made that NATO should have ended after the Cold War, but definitely the National Endowment for Democracy should have been ended after the Cold War. Instead, they say, like with every government program, “No, now’s the time we need more!”
But in Ukraine just this past year…Ah, this is an interesting article written by the president of the National Endowment for Democracy-he’s president for life-Carl Gershman. I know this might shock you, but he’s actually a Trotskyite. He was a founding member of a communist breakaway party, the Trotskyite Social Democrats USA. He wrote an editorial in The Washington Post [in] September of ’13, just before the events happened in Ukraine, and he wrote as the president of the National Endowment for Democracy. He said, “Ukraine is the biggest prize.” And he mentioned that “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” and “Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” So his real goal is regime change. He spelled it out just before all of these events took place.
These types of Trojan horse operations have been used hundreds of times in the past, and there is no sign that the deep state is ready to abandon the trick now. Quite the opposite.
It worked during the “Arab Spring” when even The New York Times blithely admitted that the leaders of the protests had “received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House” and the State Department blithely admitted they had spent $50 million helping activists in the region network, communicate and organize with each other through Trojan horse NGOs like Movements.org.
The deception also worked in Syria, where leaked documents proved the US had been providing millions of dollars of support to opposition groups in the country since 2006 through a variety of Trojan horse NGOs like the Movement for Justice and Development.
And as we saw earlier this year in “The White Helmets Are A Propaganda Construct,” even first responder groups like the “Syria Civil Defense” (founded by an ex-British military intelligence officer) have been used as Trojan horses to spread propaganda and advance the agenda of the US and its allies in their quest to topple President Assad.
Let’s be clear: This is not to say that all NGOs are Trojan horses. It is not the case that every group or program that receives money from USAID or the National Endowment for Democracy or a similar organization is thereby automatically a deep state change agent. That is not how the Trojan horse technique works.
No, what makes these NGOs so effective as disguises for regime change operations is that much of the time, they are doing what they claim to be doing: providing aid, assistance and charity where it is needed. It is for this very reason that the US and its allies can so effectively smear NGO skeptics as crazy.
But consider this: In 1938, the US Congress passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). With the notable exception of AIPAC, NGOs, lobby groups and individuals who are representing a foreign agent are required to register under the act and are subjected to greater scrutiny of financial records and other activities. The irony is that FARA is essentially the same type of legislation that has recently been passed in China, but when the Chinese do it, it’s craziness; when the US did it 70 years ago, it was just good common sense. Once again, the hypocrisy is evident for those who wish to see it.
If there is any good to come out of this, it is that the public is increasingly aware of these types of covert activities. Perhaps more to the point, victims of these operations are now more willing to stand up to the US (and suffer its potential diplomatic wrath) by scrutinizing, monitoring, watchlisting, regulating, or even kicking out these agents of chaos.
And now, just like the Trojans thousands of years ago, the world is learning the hard way that sometimes a “gift” is better left unopened.