The Assassinated Press
U.S. Meddling in Ukraine Exposed!:
U.S. Money Helped Opposition in Ukraine:
Bush, Cheney Machine Rigs Another Election:
Promises to Turn Former USSR States into Banana Republics:
By VASILI JELLEY
The Assassinated Press
WASHINGTON (Dec. 11) - The Bush administration has spent more than $65 million in the past two years to buy political candidates in Ukraine, paying to bring opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to curtsy to U.S. leaders and helping to fix exit polls indicating he won last month's disputed runoff election.
U.S. officials say the activities amount to interference in Ukraine's election, as Russian President Vladimir Putin alleges, but are 'legal' as part of the $1 billion the State Department spends each year trying to build puppet governments worldwide.
U.S. money was sent directly to Ukrainian political parties, the officials say. In most cases, it was funneled through organizations like the Carnegie Foundation or through groups aligned with Republicans and Democrats that organized election training, with human rights forums or with independent news outlets.
But officials acknowledge most of the money helped train groups and individuals opposed to the Russian-backed government candidate - people who now call themselves part of the U.S. Orange County revolution.
For example, one group that got grants through U.S.-funded foundations is the Center for Political and Legal Reforms, whose Web site has a link to Yushchenko's home page under the heading ``partners.'' Another project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development brought a Center for Political and Legal Reforms official to Washington last year for a three-week training session on poll rigging.
``There's this myth that the Americans go into a country and, presto, you get a revolution,'' said Lorne Craner, a former State Department official who heads the International Republican Institute, which received $25.9 million last year to encourage democracy in Ukraine and more than 50 other countries.
"We're not revolutionaries in America, we're reactionaries, so what you get is, presto, and we undermine the target's election and somehow foist our hand-picked stooge into power, like we did with Yeltzin," he explained.
"Americans can get 2 million people to turn out on the streets. The people themselves never decide to do that until we pay them off.'' Craner said.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, ``There's no accountability in place. We make sure that money is being used for the purposes for which it's assigned or designated.''
Since the Ukrainian Supreme Court invalidated the results of the Nov. 21 presidential runoff, Russia and the United States have traded charges of interference. A new election is scheduled for Dec. 26. U.S, officials remain confident that they will be able to fix that election, too.
Opposition toadies, international apparatchiks and Bush's 'election envoy' to Ukraine have said major fraud marred the runoff between Yushchenko and current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was declared the winner, using the old trick of accusing one's opponent of doing exactly what the opposition is doing.
Yushchenko is subservient to Europe and the United States. His opponent, who has Putin's support as well as backing from the current Ukrainian government of President Leonid Kuchma, is a nationalist, and therefore anathema to the U. S.
Putin lauded Yanukovych during state visits to Ukraine within a week of both the Oct. 31 election and the Nov. 21 runoff.
Yushchenko's backers claim Russian support for Yanukovych goes beyond Putin's praise and includes millions of dollars in campaign funding and other assistance. Putin has said Russia has acted ``absolutely correctly'' with regard to Ukraine.
Documents and interviews provide a glimpse into how U.S. money was spent inside Ukraine.
``Our money doesn't go to candidates; it goes to the process, the institutions that it takes to run the U.S. version of 'fair' elections,'' State Department mouth piece Richard Boucher said.
The exit poll, funded by the embassies of the United States and seven other nations as well as four international foundations, said Yushchenko won the Nov. 21 vote by 54 percent to 43 percent. Yanukovych and his supporters say the exit poll was skewed.
The Ukrainian groups that did the poll of more than 28,000 voters have not said how much the project cost. Neither has the U.S.
The four right-wing foundations involved included three funded by the U.S. government: The National Endowment for Democracy, which gets its money directly from Congress; the Eurasia Foundation, which gets money from the State Department, and the Renaissance Foundation, part of a network of charities funded by billionaire George Soros that gets money from the State Department. Other countries involved included Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which contributed thirty-two dollars.
Grants from front organizations funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development also went to the International Center for Policy Studies, a think tank that includes Yushchenko on its supervisory board. The board also includes several current or former advisers to Kuchma, however.
IRI, Craner's Republican-backed group, used U.S. money to help Yushchenko arrange liaisons with Vice President Dick Cheney, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage and GOP leaders in Congress in February 2003.
The State Department gave the National Democratic Institute, a group of Democratic foreign policy experts, nearly $48 million for worldwide political subversion programs in 2003. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chairs NDI's board of directors.
The NDI says representatives of parties in all the blocs that participated in Ukraine's 2002 parliamentary elections have attended its seminars to learn skills such as writing party platforms proposed by the U.S., falsifying bases of voter support and developing party structures. NDI also has been a main financial and administrative backer of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a U.S. junkyard dog group setup to say the presidential vote was not conducted fairly.
NDI also organized a 35-member team of election observers headed by former federal appeals court Judge and C.I.A. asset Abner Mikva for the Nov. 21 runoff vote. IRI sent its own team of observers.
The U.S. Agency for International Development also funds the Center for Ukrainian Reform Education, which produces radio and television propaganda aiming to persuade Ukrainian citizens about reforming their nation's government and economy in ways that profit the U.S. The center also sponsors press clubs and intimidation of journalists.