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“Reporters without borders” serve US government intrests

Ralf Streck - translation | 17.05.2005 23:00 | Indymedia | Repression | World

“Yes, this is correct, we receive money from NED and this isn't a problem for us”, admitted the boss of “Reporters without borders” Robert Ménard. But the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is not any organisation. It has been founded 1983 under the admistration of Reagan to enforce a politic which specifically aimed to destabilise Cuba and Sandinista Nicaragua.

For twenty years, the french organisation “Reporters without borders” (RSF/ ) exists, for twenty years Robert Ménard presides over this organisation, and for twenty years the rumours have never stopped, that there are close relationships to the US secret service CIA and other government authorities of the USA.

Lately the hints and investigations point directly to the RSF being financed by US state departments. The journalist Diana Barahona reported ( ) in the US journalist association “The Newspaper Guild” ( ) about the RSF being financed by NED ( ) .

Because of the pressure on Ménard, he had to officially acknowledge the financing.
In a forum of the french weekly magazine “Le Nouvel Observateur” Ménard was asked directly by a user about the investigations by Barahona.
He replied then: “Yes, exactly, we receive money by the NED and that is not any problem for us.”

But it should be a problem, if only because this money doesn't appear in the statement of accounts of the organisation. ( .

According to own reports in the financial year 2003 the RSF had a household of 3.472.122 Euros. 11% by the french state, 12% of sponsors, 4% donations, 15% by EU, 10 % by “punctual actions”
The biggest contribution: 48% by publications, the organisation claims by selling picture publications. That would be 250.000 sold calendars. Either NED received a big part of these, or there are undeclared deals and fonds.

For a long time the reputation of the organisation sufferes because of the selective cognition of violations against press freedom.
In Europe it can be noticed in the case of the Basque country. In 2004 the Basque underground organisation ETA is listed as a specific threat to press freedom. Though they haven't conducted any deadly attacks for years nor has there been any imitation against press representatives nor press institutions for years. The “preventive” shutdown of the Basque daily newspaper in contrast is justified in the annual report with suspicion of “collaboration with ETA” ().

No word about the factual prohibition existing already for more than a year at the time of publication of the report. It exists up to today, and up to now, no evidence has been presented. But the journalists have notified the public believably of having been tortured.
Then and today the criticism is missing on pointing out the missing enquiries of the accusations or the fact, that in Spain no trial nor court case has been conducted up to today in the case of the 1998 “preventive” closedown of the newspaper and Radio Egin or the newspaper Ardi Beltza (2000).

In particular the militancy against Cuba under Fidel Castro is striking as well as against Venezuela under Hugo Chavez. Because of its aggressive manner towards Cuba the RSF lost its status as consulting member of the UNO.
The request to exclude the RSF restricted in first instance for a year has been filed
by the UN commission for NGOs, because of a by the RSF provoked incidence during the opening of the 59th human rights commission on the 17th of march 2003 in Geneva.

But even the most recent annual report is conspicuous, which was presented on “Press Freedom Day” on 3rd of may. (

In which 53 killed journalists are mentioned and Iraq is presented as the “most dangerous place”. But the organisation is more than retentive in regards to journalists, who have been shot by US occupying troops. Here the organisation takes over the US language regulations and talks of “accidents”. That is also the coice of words in the case of the Italian Giuliana Sgrena ().
But the death of her protector even lead to a crisis with Italy, because the government Berlusconi does not believe in a “tragic accident”.

But at the end of april the reports by RSF about incidents in Iraq became more critical again. The organisation wrote at the start of may a letter to General Abizaid demanding the release of the cameraman Abdel Amir Hussein, who is working for the CBS News and has been arrested in Mosul start of april and is imprisoned since then without any presentation of any evidence whatsoever in Abu Ghraib.
Even on the 26th of april, several days after the confession to have received funds from NED, the RSF showed worries about the arrest of journalists, who are in Iraq or American prisons partly for several months without any formal charge.
Has this been a reaction to try to evade the suspicion that there is any influence by the US government, or has this been accidental?

It is striking in the report about the Americas, that the RSF starts with “in general press freedom would be respected in this region”. But that would not apply for Cuba, and it is infringed in Colombia and threatened in Venezuela.
Then the organisation talks about “12 killed journalists”, three more than in the year before: Mexico (3), Nicaragua (2), Peru (2) and in other countries the deat of one journalist each is mourned.
It stands out that Cuba is not amongst these countries, where since 1959 no journalist has been murdered.

Totally aside from this, the latinamerican journalist association CIAP-FELAP () talks about 20 murdered journalists for the continent and even 117 world-wide.
Instead of a general press freedom the local organisation talks about a “fatal singularity” and a new “record” for America regarding the numbers of killed journalists.

Diana Baraona pointed in her article also out, that the “total press freedom” which the Parisian organisation generally certifies the USA, is not that reaching that far.
She refers to the cases of Judith Miller and Mattew Cooper.
The journalist of the New York Times and the journalist of Time magazine
(, who were sentenced to 18 months, because of their refusal to name their information sources. They had uncovered a CIA agent.

Neither to these cases nor to the case of the black journalist Mumia Abu Jamal the RSF has ever mentioned a word. Only a massive grassroots campaign has prevented the deat penalty to be carried out and changed into a lifelong prison sentence.
Altough he is a honoury citizen of Paris, the Parisian RSF has never taken up te case.
Thereby there were many inconsistencies in the proceedings against the uncomfortable journalist, who has already been imprisoned for nearly 25 years.

Besides Cuba, which is allegedly the only country in America, which would imprison journalists, the organisation is also criticising sharply Venezuela.
Here, again, a conformity with the US foreign policy is established.
Barahona is not only pointing out that the NED is financing not only the RSF, but also supports groups and mediawic have been involved in the 2002 coup against the Chavez government. (
Although these media outlets haven't lost their license, the RSF is talking about an “autoritarian system” and is openly taking sides for the coup. Now, a dubious media law is used by both, which though has never been applied so far. ( )

These conformities with the US policy and the specifics amongst the evaluation of press freedom are not a coincidence given the relevation that “Reporters without borders” are also financed by the NED.
Whoever is financed secretly by the NED, which is subordinate to the US state department, can hardly be called independent anymore.
The former CIA agent Philip Agee describes the NED like following:
It was founded under the Reagan administration and several foundations belonged to it.
The congress made several million dollars available in 1984 and distributed the money to the four “nuclear foundations”, which distributed it to the foreign beneficiaries.

“The first recipient from the NED was the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), which was the reservoir of the extremist Castro opponents, from individuals to organisations, in the USA. But the first real test for this new system came in Nicaragua.”

There the Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN) hunted away the bloody dictator Somoza in 1979.
The logistics, the organisation and the support of the Contras was carried out from Honduras. Tis CIA intervention was also financed by selling weapons to the iranian "Mullahs" (religious clerics?). (,bedeutung.htm).
In the country itself the NED and its four foundations have been active to create collectively with the CIA an anti-sandinista political front.
It speaks for itself, that the international court in The Hague sentenced the USA for their actions against Nicaragua.

© Ralf Streck den 08.05.2005

Ralf Streck - translation
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Reporters without Honour

18.05.2005 07:08


For years I've been complaining about RFS and their political - non-journalistic - approach to past and present dangers.

They've never even dared to answer, or maybe it's just bad manners?

Personally I think it is their guilty consience:
infiltrated and sold, that's what they are!

This is my latest letter to 'Reporters without Borders':

Conc.: Your item d.d. 9 May 2005 - "Press freedom fears put to George Bush and
President Barroso ahead of Moscow visits - Url.:

Letter to the RSF (Reporters Without Borders) Editors


After reading your RIGHTFULL complaint about the Freedom of the Press in Russia, the same ungood feeling crept upon me as usual, when nowadays dealing with the RSF.

Why did RSF ask George Bush to complain to Putin?

Bush himself has succeeded in killing most of the freedom of the press in the United States, and tries to do the same in all countries which are dependent on the US and it's neocon government's despicable mainstream media?

Read what Molly Bingham - a very well known and respected US journalist/photographer writes at present, about how afraid she even has to be for her own government because she has been trying to do 'solid journalism' writing about the illegal war in Iraq! - Article: ''Home from Iraq - Journalist urges Americans to search for truth, freedom' - Url.:

I have - based on more than forty years of experience as an independent reporter - a very bad feeling about the course RSF has taken the past years, and it is my conviction that RSF - through infiltration and via other sources and means - has become a mouthpiece for certain US/Israeli groups which commit crimes against humanity.

To take just one example: in the whole of the Netherlands not a single independent newspaper is left: they're all in foreign multinational hands.

The so called news agency ANP is owned by the multinational 'Fentener van Vlissingen' and forks out information that fits the multinationals.

Since March 14th 2005 ALL 'news' and similar information for the whole public radio and TV information system is in the hands of ONE man: Hans Laroes.

In the Netherlands people know 'Lackey Laroes' as the man who has made the 8 o'clock 'Journaal' TV broadcast one of the worst government and multinational mouthpieces ever.

Still - according to RSF - Holland is some kind of ''flagship of press freedom''?

I got a chance to - independently - work in Holland for some years now, after living
and working abroad as an independent correspondent for more than forty years.

Let me put it like this: whatever some people here in Holland tell you:
NO there is no real freedom of the press.

NO. I do NOT know any critical journalists which have a job,
or even a chance to get one.

And yes, I believe that politics and wrong influences - including from propaganda machines and secret services - is wrecking the work you did better before.

If you don't agree with me, pls do give me some
arguments explaining why I'm wrong.

If you remain silent however, I'll send text and a follow up to the 450.00+
members of the International Journalist Federation (IFJ).

Awaiting your reply, I meanwhile remain,

Henk Ruyssenaars

Editor : Henk Ruyssenaars
The Netherlands

*'The war in Iraq is illegal' says United Nation's Secretary General Kofi
Annan in a BBC interview: txt+video - Url.:


HR: It's a pity, I never got an answer. The fact that they don't answer speaks for itself.

And Yes; the letter was sent to all members of the 'International Journalist Federation' mentioned above.

I wonder what the Reproters without Borders-collaborators will say, when they stand trial in the Hague at the International Crime Court, for 'guilt by assocciation' , supporting and advocating all the present war crimes?

The followers of Nazi propaganda 'Meister' Joseph Goebbels were hanged at Nuremberg for this way of working. Capital punishment by the way is proving that it lowers oneself to the standard of murderer; by murdering other human beings too.

We'll report on those 'Reporters without Honour'!


Henk R.

Henk Ruyssenaars
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