Is Montana Wilderness Association a CIA front?

The title above is perhaps only partly in jest. Back in the early 1960’s, when there were people of integrity in the House and Senate, Congressman Wright Patman of Texas conducted an inquiry into CIA funneling of money through various foundations to intended donors who wanted to be free of the taint of spook money.

It was a two-step process, and what became known as the “Patman Eight”, several foundations that were really nothing more than mail drops came into the news, somewhat (featured prominently in The Nation, and on the back pages of the New York Times). The money given to the phony foundations eventually made its way through real foundations, and then into the pockets of the intended CIA beneficiaries.

The problem CIA had was onerous reporting requirements by IRS, which made a traceable public record for any curious journalists, and Congressmen Patman and his staff. Of course, we had no curious journalists in the early 60s any more than now, so the matter died, and CIA went on as usual. I imagine the whole episode could be replayed today, except that we have none like Patman on board in the congress.  (Patman’s Wikipedia page is scrubbed clean of any reference to his investigation. I consider Wikipedia itself, full of back doors for editors, a compromised information source)

Environmentalists, the real ones, and not the phony ones who are awash in foundation money, know that the movement was undermined and taken over by intelligence and large corporations in the early 70’s. If a name features prominently in news as a prominent group, you can bet that group has been bought off. And indeed, if you look through the records of Montana Wilderness Association, you’ll find them awash in foundation money, among them Pew Charitable Trusts, the Sun Oil fortune. Pew has been prominent over the decades in undermining various groups, replacing legitimate environmentalists with collaborators, or sellouts.

The most recent 990 for MWA lists on page ten $1.762 million in grants revenue, of which $129,000 (about 7%) comes from membership dues. This is not unusual for false front groups, and indicates that the organization is not answerable to its membership in any meaningful sense. The public-view 990 is scrubbed of names of donors, only stating in one section that grants are reviewed for unusually onerous restrictions, a process I would imagine is fraught with unspoken uncertainty.

Since we know from Patman that CIA was funneling money through false fronts into mainstream foundations to arrive at its intended destination, and that nothing was done to curb the practice, and that we have no journalism then or now to follow up, and no congressional oversight now, it seems logical to ask MWA to disclose to us where it gets its money, and if it has indeed followed that money back to its true source.

Just asking. Boys and girls, your integrity is in question here. Time to take down the window dressing, and breathe  some fresh air.

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