Hagel on board of Soros group pushing ‘nuke-free world.’ Radical-left organization wants massive slashes in defense spending
Posted on January 17, 2013 at 3:34 AM EST
By Aaron Klein
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama‚Äôs nominee for defense secretary, serves on the board of a George Soros-funded group that advocates a nuclear-free world.
The Ploughshares Fund has a long history of anti-war advocacy and is a partner of the Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies, which has urged the defunding of the Pentagon and massive decreases in U.S. defense capabilities, including slashing the American nuclear arsenal to 292 deployed weapons.
The Poughshares Fund has also partnered with a who‚Äôs who of the radical left, including Code Pink, the pro-Palestinian J Street, United for Peace & Justice, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the Demos progressive group, where Obama‚Äôs former green jobs czar, Van Jones, serves on the board.
Ploughshares Fund identifies itself as a ‚Äúpublicly supported foundation that funds, organizes and innovates projects to realize a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.‚ÄĚ
The fund calls itself ‚Äúthe largest grant-making foundation in the U.S. focusing exclusively on peace and security issues.‚ÄĚ
Since its founding in 1981 by San Francisco philanthropist and activist Sally Lilienthal, Ploughshares says it has awarded many hundreds of grants ‚Äúwhose aggregate value exceeded $60 million.‚ÄĚ
The fund is in turn financed by a small number of foundations, including Soros‚Äô Open Society Institute, the Buffett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Occupy, MoveOn, Soros
A primary Ploughshares donor is the Tides Foundation, a money tunnel in which leftist donors provide funds to finance other radical groups. Tides is itself funded by Soros.
Another grantee of Tides is Adbusters magazine, which is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
Tides funds hundreds of radical groups. Its partners have been chief defenders of Hagel‚Äôs nomination.
Fenton Communications is a far-left public relations firm closely partnered with Tides that routinely crafts the public relations for Tides grantees, including J Street, MoveOn.org and other prominent far-left causes, organizations and activists, from Soros himself to Health Care for America Now to a litany of anti-war groups.
Discover the Networks documents¬†how Ploughshares in 2007 hired Fenton Communications to create and administer something called the ‚ÄúPeace Primary,‚ÄĚ an online contest in which Ploughshares grantees developed their own ‚Äúpeace platforms‚ÄĚ on a wide range of topics such as the Iraq War and the genocide in Darfur.
Earlier this week,¬†the Washington Free Beacon obtained emails showing a group of anti-Israel activists and journalists are engaged in a coordinated campaign to stifle criticism over Obama‚Äôs pick of Hagel¬†by attacking the former Republican senator‚Äôs critics.
Fenton communications chief executive officer David Fenton participated in the email exchanges along with other progressive activists, the Free Beacon‚Äôs Adam Kredo reported.
Former Fenton executive Jeremy Ben Ami now directs J Street, which has partnered with Ploughshares.
J Street supports talks with Hamas, is heavily critical of Israeli military actions aimed at curbing terrorism and is staunchly opposed to a military strike against Iran.
Discover The Networks notes how Ploughshares donated $25,000 to J Street ‚Äúto support congressional advocacy and education against the use of a military resolution to the impasse over Iran‚Äôs nuclear program.‚ÄĚ
Two months later, J Street produced a Web video and policy campaign urging against military force targeting Iran‚Äôs nuclear infrastructure.
Opposes U.S. missile defense
Ploughshares, meanwhile, opposes America‚Äôs development of a missile defense system and contributes to scores of anti-war groups highly critical of U.S. foreign policy and military expansion.
Ploughshares is directed by Joseph Cirincione, who served as an advisor on nuclear issues to Obama‚Äôs 2008 presidential campaign. Cirincione also served as director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress.
Among the groups Ploughshares donates to the anti-Israel Americans for Peace Now, the Arms Control Association, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Policy Alternatives, the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity, the radical Citizen Action, Citizens for Environmental Justice, the Coalition for New Priorities and the radical the Institute for Policy Studies.
More grantees include the New America Foundation, the Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Nuclear Freeze Foundation, the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Peace Action, the Peace Studies Association, Physicians for Human Rights and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Ploughshares has also funded the Soros-financed Connect US Fund, which urges more U.N. helmets on U.S. troops, as well as the Center for American Progress, which is highly influential in informing White House policy.
Also on the list of Ploughshares grantees is The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has long petitioned for the U.S. to reduce its nuclear stockpiles. According to Pavel Sudoplatov, a former major-general in Soviet intelligence, the work by the magazine editors was for the benefit of the Soviet Union.
Two of the magazine‚Äôs founding sponsors, Leo Szilard and Robert Oppenheimer, were accused of passing information from the Manhattan Project to the Soviets. Both were also key initiators of the Manhattan Project.
Ploughshares funds the International Crisis Group, a small organization that boasts Soros on its board and is a key promoter of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine used to justify the NATO airstrikes in Libya last year.
Massive defense slashes
Another Ploughshares grantee is the Institute for Policy Studies.
Ploughshares is¬†listed on the institute‚Äôs website as a partner organization.
The institute works with the Center for American Progress to release an annual ‚ÄúUnified Security Budget,‚ÄĚ which reportedly has influenced White House military policy. Previous recommendations from the two groups‚Äô yearly Unified Security Budgets have been adapted by the Obama administration.
The 2012 budget, reviewed in full by KleinOnline, called on Obama to use the U.S. Armed Forces in part to combat ‚Äúglobal warming,‚ÄĚ fight global poverty, remedy ‚Äúinjustice,‚ÄĚ bolster the United Nations and increase ‚Äúpeacekeeping‚ÄĚ forces worldwide.
The budget called for massive, second-term slashes to the military budget. The savings are to be used to invest in ‚Äúsustainable energy‚ÄĚ and in fighting worldwide climate change.
The report makes clear the stated objective of transforming the U.S. Armed Forces to stress conflict resolution and diplomacy.
The report takes issue with the use of forces on the ground in various countries to secure or influence the longer-term strategic position of other nations.
It recommends scaling back all U.S. ground forces by 20 percent and reducing the Navy‚Äôs surface fleet by 20 percent, including two carriers and carrier combat air wings. It also calls for reducing the Air Force by two combat air wings while cutting standing peacetime overseas deployments in Europe and East Asia by up to 50,000 troops at a time.
The budget‚Äôs authors strongly argue for the reduction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to no more than 292 deployed nuclear weapons and the complete elimination of the Trident II nuclear missile. It‚Äôs a process Obama already initiated in April 2010 when he signed a deal with Russia reducing stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.
The accord with Russia was signed at a nuclear summit in Washington arranged by Obama at which leaders of 47 nations committed to reducing the world‚Äôs nuclear stockpiles. One week earlier, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Obama signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, committing both countries to reducing their deployed nuclear arsenals.
Obama had broadly proclaimed his disarmament intentions during a 2007 campaign speech: ‚ÄúHere‚Äôs what I‚Äôll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons.‚ÄĚ
By 2010, as president, he was arguing: ‚ÄúWe need to change our nuclear policy and our posture, which is still focused on deterring the Soviet Union¬†‚Äď a country that¬†doesn’t¬†exist.‚ÄĚ
Obama‚Äôs declaration came just as Russia was signing a major arms deal with Syria and began to revive its Cold War-era naval bases in the Middle East, including in the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia on the Mediterranean.
The joint CAP and IPS report, meanwhile, recommends the U.S. cease all further development of missile defenses.
The report goes through a list of current missile defense programs, including Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptors and a number of others, pushing for all programs to be cut.
‚ÄúIt is unwise to fund more advanced systems for missile defense while current ones have yet to be proven effective against their targeted threats,‚ÄĚ complains the report.
The military‚Äôs vital Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation program is to be cut by $10 billion across the board.
Next on the chopping block: the complete cancellation of the second SSN-744 Virginia Class submarine. While the Unified Security Budget describes the new model as ‚Äúunnecessary to address any of the threats facing the United States today‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúa weapon looking for an enemy,‚ÄĚ the SSN-774 is designed for covert collection of intelligence, transportation of special operations teams, and launching of tactical Tomahawk missiles ‚Äď flexible capabilities tailored to rapid responses required by the 21st-century‚Äôs conflicts with irregular combatants.
Similarly targeted for cancellation are the V-22 Osprey helicopter and the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Combating ‚Äėglobal warming‚Äô
The 2012 Unified report sets the tone of its lofty agenda by demanding immediate reductions in the military‚Äôs already heavily slashed budget. But there is one exception requiring massive increases in funding ‚Äď any spending that funds ‚Äúalternative energy‚ÄĚ or that focuses Defense Department resources on combating ‚Äúclimate change as a security threat.‚ÄĚ
The report authors recommend investing ‚Äúthe lion‚Äôs share‚ÄĚ of the few allotted military increases in addressing the ‚Äúthreat‚ÄĚ of so-called climate change.
The report wants Obama to take billions of dollars from the U.S. military and instead use them for a ‚Äúgreen stimulus.‚ÄĚ
These groups also envision the military as a tool to fight so-called global warming. In 2011, the IPS released a 40-page CAP-endorsed report titled ‚ÄúThe Green Dividend,‚ÄĚ a term the IPS defines as ‚Äúa major shift of resources from the military budget to sustainable energy.‚ÄĚ
The IPS research paper identifies the Pentagon as the ‚Äúlargest institutional energy user ‚Äď and greenhouse gas emitter ‚Äď on the planet,‚ÄĚ arguing that if it undertook a ‚Äúcrash program‚ÄĚ to convert to renewable energy sources and clean vehicles, it could make a significant impact on global emissions.
The IPS calls on the Pentagon to contribute to a green world ‚Äúby simply getting out of the way,by handing over unneeded military installations to be converted into green job incubators.‚ÄĚ
The report lauds Obama‚Äôs first-ever U.S. Global Development Policy, which was issued in September 2010 and declares that the primary purpose of our development aid is to pursue broad-based economic growth as the means to fight global poverty.
The report goes on to recommend that massive funds be sent to combat global woes, including an increase of $3.5 billion to ‚ÄúGlobal Health‚ÄĚ investment and $2.14 billion to support United Nations peacekeeping and ensure that the United States does not fall behind in U.N. payments.