Grayzone: NED VP escapes questioning on links to US intelligence
Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement of the US' National Endowment for Democracy Leslie Aun contacts The Grayzone after an article of their describing the NED as a 'CIA cutout'.
Alex Rubinstein, an investigative journalist with The Grayzone, published a few days ago an article revealing the double standards being pushed by Bellingcat, allegedly a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group that specializes in fact-checking and open-source intelligence, which was mostly funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), after a top staffer made attempts to legitimize the bombing of a cafe in Russia that killed war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky.
The day following the publication, on April 4, 2023, the Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement of the NED, Leslie Aun, contacted Rubinstein and requested a conversation targeting his latest piece. It is significant to note that Rubinstein dubbed the NED in his writings as "the regime change arm of the US government" and referenced it in his article as a "CIA cutout", which could have triggered Aun and prompted the call.
Rubinstein, in his most recent article, reveals that on April 6, he, his colleague Max Blumenthal, and Aun, held a 40-minute phone call in which The Grayzone journalists outlined the NED's role in supporting violent insurrections, and the CIA's role in establishing the NED in order to conduct, publicly, the missions the intelligence agency used to conduct covertly.
During the call, Blumenthal directed Aun to a declassified document in which William Casey, CIA director during the Reagan era, proposed the US created a government-funded “National Endowment.” Casey distributed the document to a number of cabinet-level Reagan officials, only for the NED to be established months later.
That being said, Blumenthal explained to Aun that a "CIA cutout" is “an organization spun out as an initiative of that entity, and which performs the work or advances the agenda of that entity.”
The Grayzone offered Aun, with proof, the brief history of the NED's support of NGOs, media organizations, and politicians, with the purpose of driving campaigns to "topple democratically elected governments" designated by the US as 'enemies' threatening their regional interests. Blumenthal and Rubinstein brought examples from Nicaragua to Venezuela, and from Ukraine to Hong Kong.
Aun failed to deny the allegations against the NED, claiming to be unaware of the matter at hand, and stressing she needed to learn more before responding.
When asked to provide evidence the NED did not coordinate with the US intelligence, as per the provisions preventing such actions, Aun said: “I don’t know if it’s in the statute. I don’t know if it’s — I mean, I don’t — I don’t know. I’m going to sound like an idiot. I don’t mean to sound like an idiot,” Aun replied.
The Grayzone also demanded clarification on whether the NED had put policies in place that prohibited it from financing anti-democratic and violent individuals, such as the coup leaders and political arsonists previously described in the prior article.
In that regard, Blumenthal asked Aun "How is it pro–democracy to support mobilizations that seek to remove elected leaders?"
Aun then seems to have trapped herself in a swift response wherein she stated ,"Isn’t that sort of what democracy is?"
Aun then resorted to Red Scare-style insinuations, said Rubinstein, who explained that Aun asked The Grayzone and the two journalists on the call with her whether or not they were being "supporters of the Belarusian government, of [the] Ortega government, of the Chinese government?"
But more significantly, it is worth highlighting that Rubenstein reaffirmed that the questions Aun failed to answer on the call were sent to her in writing, and she also continuously promised to respond to them n several occasions such as during the call and in follow-up emails. Rubinstein also noted that it has been 50 days and Aun has yet to respond.
Rubenstein further wrote in his article that "between April 11 and May 5, Aun sent three emails promising a response," however, "She then went cold, prompting our decision to publish a recording of our phone conversation."
CIA spearheaded 'color revolutions' to safeguard US global hegemony
A report issued by China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and a China-based internet-security company early in May this year named 360 detailed evidence of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) being behind a great number of "color revolutions" aimed at the post-Soviet space and other regions of the globe.
"For many years, the CIA has been secretly organizing 'peaceful change' and 'color revolutions', as well as carrying out espionage activities and stealing information," as per the report.
A report issued by #China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and a China-based internet security company named 360 detailed evidence of the #CIA being behind a great number of "color revolutions" aimed at the post-#Soviet space and other regions around the globe. pic.twitter.com/moXEmCqjkm— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 6, 2023
Among the many revolutions in which the CIA played a role are the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine from 2004-2005, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, the "Arab Spring" of 2010s, Ukrainian Euromaidan from 2013-2014, and Sunflower Movement in Taiwan in 2014 - all of which are internationally recognized as "color revolutions", the report stated.
It also revealed that the US attempted to stage "color revolutions" in Belarus, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Iran, and other states.
"According to statistics, over the past few decades, the CIA has overthrown or attempted to overthrow legitimate governments in more than 50 countries, causing unrest," the report read.