This post was edited by Mariot at 2012-3-5 11:36|
Itshould be noted, however, that Freedom House was not alone insupporting the government. Under the Bush administration, the USgovernment forced NGOs to become more compliant to their demands. In2003, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios stated in a speech given at aconference of NGOs that in Afghanistan the relationship between NGOsand USAID does affect the survival of the Karzai regime and thatAfghans “believe[their life] is improving through mechanisms that have nothing to dowith the U.S. government and nothing to do with the central government.That is a very serious problem.”  On the situation in Iraq, Natsios stated that when it comes to NGO work in the country “proving results counts, but showing a connection between those results and U.S. policy counts as well.” (emphasis added) NGOs were essentially told that they were toolsof the US government and were being made part of the imperialapparatus.
Mostrecently, Freedom House was active in the Arab Spring, where they aidedin the training and financing of civil society groups and individuals“including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center forHuman Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youthleader in Yemen.” 
Whilethe Endowment and Freedom House are being used as tools of US foreignpolicy that does not mean that the US government isn’t looking for newtools, namely Amnesty International.
The human rights organizationAmnesty International is the newest tool in the imperial toolbox of theAmerican Empire. In January 2012, Suzanne Nossel was appointed the newExecutive Director of Amnesty International by the group itself. Beforecoming to Amnesty, Nossel already had deep connections to the USgovernment as she had “served as Deputy Assistant Secretary forInternational Organizations at the U.S. Department of State.” 
Nossel is known for coining the term ‘smart power’ which she defined as knowing that “US interests are furtheredby enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals, through alliances,international institutions, careful diplomacy, and the power ofideals.” While this definition may seem harmless, ‘smart power’ seems to be anenhanced version of Joseph Nye’s ‘soft power,’ which itself is definedas “the ability to obtain the outcomes one wants through attractionrather than using the carrots and sticks of payment or coercion.” A possible example of this ‘smart power’ is the war in Libya, where theUS used the UN as a means to get permission to engage in ‘humanitarianintervention.’
Yet,even before Nossel was appointed to Amnesty, the group was unwittinglyaiding in the media war against Syria. In a September 1, 2011 Democracy Now interview, Neil Sammonds, the researcher and one of the author’s for Amnesty’s report Deadly Detention: Deaths in Custody Amid Popular Protest in Syria, spoke about the manner in which the research was done for the report. He stated:
I’ve not been into Syria. Amnesty International has not been allowed into the country during these events, although we have requested it. Sothe research for this report was done mostly from London, but also fromsome work in neighboring countries and through communications with alarge network of contacts and relatives of the families, and, you know,other sources.  (emphasis added)
Howcan one write a report with any amount of authority if their onlysources are through second-hand sources that may or may not have a biasor an agenda to push? How can you write a report using sources whoseinformation has no way of being verified? It is reminiscent of themedia war against Gaddafi, where it was reported in the mainstreammedia that he was bombing his own people and had given Viagra to hissoldiers as so they could rape women, but absolutely none of this wasverified.
WhileNGOs can have a positive influence on society at large, one must beaware of their backgrounds, who is in charge of them, and from whomthey are getting funding from because the nature of the NGO ischanging, it is being more and more integrated into the imperialapparatus of domination and exploitation. NGOs are fast becoming themissionaries of empire.
4: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, 3rd ed. (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2005) pg 239
5: Ibid, pg 239
7: Blum, pg 240