Twenty years ago, after CBS 60 Minutes reported on industry-sponsored, government-supported terrorism against environmentalists in the US, one of the industry-financed field agents was quoted in High Country News as saying his job was to decide, “who to threaten, who to bribe.”
I was reminded of this candid remark when reading the report at Wrong Kind of Green on the U.S. State Department coup at Amnesty International USA–a hostile takeover that placed former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the State Department, Suzanne Nossel, at the helm. Having been installed as AI USA executive director in January, Nossel has expressed identical views about how to promote US imperial interests. As an experienced advocate for neoliberal coercion to achieve American hegemony, she has taken an aggressive pro-war stance over the last decade, including the US invasion of Iraq and the NATO bombing of Libya. When working as a Hillary wanabe at State, Nossel fought hard at the UN Human Rights Council as an apologist for Zionist crimes against humanity in Palestine.
As a junior achiever of note, Nossel is perhaps not a surprising choice to head the coup at Amnesty; she — like Condoleeza Rice — paid her dues as a lackey to the rich and powerful, and is following the game plan they set out for her. What we need to ask in light of the coup is, what purpose will big international NGOs serve when they are all working for government and industry?