THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
January 24, 2011
The Following article originated at and is copied from DiscoverTheNetworks.com
The Center for American Progress (CAP) describes itself as "a nonpartisan research and educational institute" aimed at "developing a long-term vision of a progressive America" and "providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals."
Robert Dreyfuss reports in the March 1, 2004 edition of The Nation: "The idea for the Center began with discussions in 2002 between [Morton] Halperin and George Soros, the billionaire investor. … Halperin, who heads the office of Soros' Open Society Institute, brought [former Clinton chief of staff John] Podesta into the discussion, and beginning in late 2002 Halperin and Podesta circulated a series of papers to funders."
Soros and Halperin recruited Harold Ickes -- chief fundraiser and former deputy chief of staff for the Clinton White House -- to help organize the Center. It was launched on July 7, 2003 as the American Majority Institute. The name was changed to Center for American Progress (CAP) on September 1, 2003. The official purpose of the Center was to provide the left with something it supposedly lacked -- a think tank of its own.
Regarding the new think tank proposed by Soros and Halperin, Hillary Clinton told Matt Bai of The New York Times Magazine on October 12, 2003, "We need some new intellectual capital. There has to be some thought given as to how we build the 21st-century policies that reflect the Democrat Party's values." She later told The Nation's Robert Dreyfuss, "We've had the challenge of filling a void on our side of the ledger for a long time, while the other side created an infrastructure that has come to dominate political discourse. The Center is a welcome effort to fill that void."
Persistent press leaks confirm that Hillary Clinton, and not Podesta, is ultimately in charge of CAP. "It's the official Hillary Clinton think tank," an inside source confided to Christian Bourge of United Press International. Robert Dreyfuss notes in The Nation, "In looking at Podesta's center, there's no escaping the imprint of the Clintons. It's not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White-House-in-exile -- or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton." Dreyfuss notes the abundance of Clintonites on the Center's staff, among them Clinton's national security speechwriter Robert Boorstin; Democratic Leadership Council staffer and former head of Clinton's National Economic Council Gene Sperling; former senior advisor to Clinton's Office of Management and Budget Matt Miller; and others.
In addition to the aforementioned individuals, CAP's key personnel also includes Director of Media Strategy Debbie Berger, daughter of Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger; Sarah Rosen Wartell, who serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel; Mark David Agrast, Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy; and Robert O. Boorstin, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy.
One of CAP's primary missions is to carry out "rapid response" to what it calls conservative "attacks" in the media. To this end, CAP maintains more than a dozen spokespeople ready to appear on short notice on national talk shows to debate or respond to conservative commentators. Among CAP's expert commentators are its own President, John Podesta; Eric Alterman, who claims expertise on the subject of media; and CAP Senior Vice President Morton Halperin, who offers to speak on national security.
On May 3, 2004, CAP helped to launch David Brock's Media Matters for America - which claims to serve as a "watchdog" organization monitoring "rightwing" media for ethics and accuracy. According to The New York Times, Brock conferred with Hillary Clinton, Senator Tom Daschle, and former Vice President Al Gore about Media Matters before embarking on the project. "Mr. Brock's project was developed with help from the newly formed Center for American Progress," notes the Times, and John Podesta "introduced [Brock] to potential donors."
CAP posts daily "Talking Points" to guide the likeminded in their disputes with conservatives. The organization has also established an American Progress Action Fund as a "sister advocacy organization" that "transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world."
The March 2004 Foundation Watch newsletter of the Capital Research Center reports that CAP raised $13 million in 2003. Part of that money came from George Soros, who had pledged $3 million, to be paid in $1 million increments over three years. Part came from Herbert and Marion Sandler, co-CEOs of the Oakland, California savings and loan holding company Golden West Financial Corporation (S&L).
Other donors to CAP include the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Irving Harris Foundation, the Philip Murphy Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Overbrook Foundation, the Peninsula Foundation, the Robert E. Rubin Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Robert and Irene Schwartz Foundation.
After Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, CAP served as perhaps the most influential organization advising the new administration. Among Obama's leading advisers were John Podesta and at least ten additional CAP experts.
An April 2009 CAP report stated that the United States had a moral obligation to spend massive amounts of money to help poorer nations deal with the effects of the "global warming" that allegedly was being caused by industrialized nations like the U.S.
In May 2009 CAP alleged that Americans’ “insatiable demand for electronics products such as cell phones and laptops” was at least partially responsible for fomenting the deadly war raging in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Said CAP:
“The violence in Congo is being fueled by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals -- the 3 T’s (tin, tantalum, and tungsten) -- that make our cell phones and other electronics function…. Congo's mineral wealth should be a source of prosperity and stability for the Congolese people, not a source of exploitation and violence. As the primary end-users of the 3 T's, electronics companies bear a responsibility for cleaning up their supply chains. Our cell phones should not be fueling violent conflict…. As consumers of cell phones and other electronics, we can change the equation for Congo. Demand that the biggest end-users of the 3 T’s – consumer electronics companies – COME CLEAN 4 CONGO and pledge to make their products conflict-free.”
CAP's solution, in other words, was to have cell-phone manufacturers “stop using conflict minerals from the Congo.”
In our next article we'll consider to big arms of the Soros web, MoveOn.org and the Tides Foundation.
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