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Embarrassment to GG, MW of The Intercept: Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolt

by Oui Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 07:00:58 AM EST

[Update] Marcy Wheeler at her best, her response to Mark Ames:

Of Neo-Fascists and Smiley-Face Neoliberals

I will make a follow-up shortly. Bear with me …

Unwittingly, the saga of the faked black-ops sniper video published by RFERL on 20 February 2014, is connected with the publication by Mark Ames and response of Marcy Wheeler to the NGOs and media outlets under responsiblility of billionaire Omidyar.

My reply in a new diary - Confirmed: Omidyar's NGOs Clearly Partner in Regime Change

h/t somebody @MoA. In article below, Russia expert Mark Ames makes an astonishing revelation which must be an embarrassment to Glenn Greenwald and Marcy Wheeler under Pierre Omidyar at The Intercept. I quoted Mark Ames on the Ukraine in another recent article - From The eXile - Misinformation Proxy War Ukraine.

Pierre Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolution Groups With US Government, Documents Show

(Pando Daily) - Just hours after last weekend's ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, one of Pierre Omidyar's newest hires at national security blog "The Intercept," was already digging for the truth.

Marcy Wheeler, who is the new site's "senior policy analyst," speculated that the Ukraine revolution was likely a "coup" engineered by "deep forces" on behalf of "Pax Americana":

    "There's quite a bit of evidence of coup-ness. Q is how many levels deep interference from both sides is."
These are serious claims. So serious that I decided to investigate them. And what I found was shocking.

Continued below the fold ...

Wheeler is partly correct. Pando has confirmed that the American government - in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) - played a major role in funding opposition groups prior to the revolution. Moreover, a large percentage of the rest of the funding to those same groups came from a US billionaire who has previously worked closely with US government agencies to further his own business interests. This was by no means a US-backed "coup," but clear evidence shows that US investment was a force multiplier for many of the groups involved in overthrowing Yanukovych.

But that's not the shocking part.

What's shocking is the name of the billionaire who co-invested with the US government (or as Wheeler put it: the "dark force" acting on behalf of "Pax Americana").

Step out of the shadows.... Wheeler's boss, Pierre Omidyar.

Yes, in the annals of independent media, this might be the strangest twist ever: According to financial disclosures and reports seen by Pando, the founder and publisher of Glenn Greenwald's government-bashing blog,"The Intercept," co-invested with the US government to help fund regime change in Ukraine.

* * * *

When the revolution came to Ukraine, neo-fascists played a front-center role in overthrowing the country's president. But the real political power rests with Ukraine's pro-western neoliberals. Political figures like Oleh Rybachuk, long a favorite of the State Department, DC neocons, EU, and NATO--and the right-hand man to Orange Revolution leader Viktor Yushchenko.

Last December, the Financial Times wrote that Rybachuk's "New Citizen" NGO campaign "played a big role in getting the protest up and running."

New Citizen , along with the rest of Rybachuk's interlocking network of western-backed NGOs and campaigns-- "Center UA" (also spelled "Centre UA"), "Chesno," and "Stop Censorship" to name a few -- grew their power by targeting pro-Yanukovych politicians with a well-coordinated anti-corruption campaign that built its strength in Ukraine's regions, before massing in Kiev last autumn.

According to the Kyiv Post, Pierrie Omidyar's Omidyar Network (part of the Omidyar Group which owns First Look Media and the Intercept) provided 36% of "Center UA"'s $500,000 budget in 2012-- nearly $200,000. USAID provided 54% of "Center UA"'s budget for 2012. Other funders included the US government-backed National Endowment for Democracy.

Read full article here ...

Statement by the un-embarassed Greenwald on journalistic independence. Not even a storm in a teacup, apparently.
by Katrin on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 11:01:25 AM EST
Thanks for link, interesting.

@BooMan, a reply mentioned a feud between New Look and Pardo Daily. This is my first reaction.

I haven't visited either sites, so I have no knowledge of a feud. I found another article by Mark Ames, see link at the end. I'm sitting on the fence, but Ames may have a point. If I have a chance [time], I'll dig a little deeper.

Sarah Lacy Launches Pando Daily, Your New Favorite News Site

(Jan. 16, 2012) - Pando Daily has a single overriding goal - to be the paper of record for Silicon Valley. That means every story of importance will be covered with an unbiased look at the facts. Along with a healthy dose of the analysis that you've already come to expect from her and the people she works with.

There's a big void in Silicon Valley right now, and I believe readers are aching for something to fill that void. Pando Daily is going to do that.

She's raised an amazing round of funding from Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hseih, Zach Nelson, Andrew Anker, Chris Dixon, Saul Klein, Josh Kopelman and Matt Cohler, all investing as individuals. Also investing are a handful of seed funds including CrunchFund, Greylock Discovery Fund, Accel's Seed Fund, Menlo Ventures Talent Fund, Lerer Ventures, SV Angels and Ooga Labs.

We're proud to be investing in Pando Daily. CrunchFund will be very active in this investment, taking a board seat and contributing regularly to the site.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 01:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
h/t seabe Oligarchs Triumphant: Ukraine, Omidyar and the Neo-Liberal Agenda

Oligarchs Triumphant: Ukraine, Omidyar and the Neo-Liberal Agenda  by Chris Floyd @EmpireBurlesque

The Western intervention in Ukraine has now led the region to the brink of war. Political opposition to government of President Viktor Yanukovych -- a corrupt and thuggish regime, but as with so many corrupt and thuggish regimes one sees these days, a democratically elected one -- was funded in substantial part by organizations of or affiliated with the U.S. government, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (a longtime vehicle for Washington-friendly coups), and USAID. It also received substantial financial backing from Western oligarchs, such as billionaire Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and sole bankroller of the new venue for "adversarial" journalism, First Look, as Pando Daily reports.

Yanukovych sparked massive protests late last year when he turned down a financial deal from the European Union and chose a $15 billion aid package from Russia instead. The EU deal would have put cash-strapped Ukraine in a financial straitjacket, much like Greece, without actually promising any path for eventually joining the EU. There was one other stipulation in the EU's proffered agreement that was almost never reported: it would have also forbidden Ukraine to "accept further assistance from the Russians," as Patrick Smith notes in an important piece in Salon.com.  It was a ruthless take-it-or-leave-it deal, and would have left Ukraine without any leverage, unable to parlay its unique position between East and West to its own advantage in the future, or conduct its foreign and economic policies as it saw fit. Yanukovych took the Russian deal, which would have given Ukraine cash in hand immediately and did not come with the same draconian restrictions. Smith adds:

    [U.S.] foreign policy cliques remain wholly committed to the spread of the neo-liberal order on a global scale, admitting of no exceptions. This is American policy in the 21st century. No one can entertain any illusion (as this columnist confesses to have done) that America's conduct abroad stands any chance of changing of its own in response to an intelligent reading of the emerging post-Cold War order. Imposing "democracy," the American kind, was the American story from the start, of course, and has been the mission since Wilson codified it even before he entered the White House. When the Cold War ended we began a decade of triumphalist bullying -- economic warfare waged as "the Washington Consensus" -- which came to the same thing.

American policy is based upon -- dependent upon -- a raging, willful, arrogant ignorance of other peoples, other cultures, history in general, and even the recent history of U.S. policy itself. The historical and cultural relationships between Ukraine and Russia are highly complex. Russia takes its national identity from the culture that grew up around what is now Kyiv; indeed, in many respects, Kyiv is where "Russia" was born.  Yet one of the first acts of the Western-backed revolutionaries was to pass a law declaring Ukrainian as the sole state language, although most of the country speaks Russian or Surzhyk, "a motley mix of Ukrainian and Russian (sometimes with bits of Hungarian, Romanian and Polish)," as the LRB's Peter Pomerantsev details in an excellent piece on Ukraine's rich cultural and linguistic complexity.  

See my new diary - Putin Orders Troops Back to Base; East-West Détente.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 at 09:41:27 AM EST

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