Sunday, August 21, 2016

Soros Leaks: BBC's Jonathan Head Admits FCCT Ties to Open Society

August 22, 2016 (ATN) - The BBC's Jonathan Head yesterday finally admitted - after initially denying it - that the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) was indeed associated with corrupt billionaire George Soros' Open Society.

The admission comes in the wake of a viral news story exposing Open Society's power and influence among several NGOs in Thailand, gaining particular attention after the release of the "Soros Leaks" - thousands of documents exposing the inner workings of Soros' global front organization.

Thailand's The Nation newspaper in an article titled, "Prachatai denies funding by Soros foundation influences its news coverage," would report:

According to the leaks, Prachatai, the Thai Netizen Network, the Cross Cultural Foundation, and the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) have all received money from or have a direct association with Open Society.

The FCCT represents a collection of Western media organisations, including the BBC, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press.

The New Atlas article claimed that the FCCT had not clearly disclosed the source of its funding and Open Society funds and influences the club and other Western news agencies that are associated with it.
The Nation would also report:
The FCCT denied it received financial support from Soros's foundation.

"No financial support from outside at all. We have no financiers, none," said FCCT president Dominic Faulder, who recently assumed the position.
"I have not read the [New Atlas] article but what I'm telling you is it is not true [regarding the FCCT]," he said.
However, other members of the FCCT would quickly backtrack, with apparently none of them having even searched through the Soros Leaks initially for mention of their own organization.

Jonathan Head, a member of the FCCT and a correspondent for the BBC, would finally admit yesterday - after extensively attacking the Nation - that indeed the FCCT was involved in at least one "seminar" funded by Open Society. He would claim that the FCCT itself received no money from Open Society.

Unfortunately for Head, both his and the FCCT's credibility as a whole is now in question. Associating in any way with Open Society, a front operated by a convicted financial criminal wielding unwarranted power and influence worldwide already compromises the ethical integrity of the FCCT.

It should also be noted that just because only one "seminar" is mentioned in the Soros Leaks, doesn't mean that it is the only one the FCCT took part in or that the FCCT is not involved in taking money or associating with Open Society through other channels.

Even though the Soros Leaks helped shine new light on the funding faux-NGOs like Thailand's Prachatai and Thai Netizen receive from Open Society, neither organization is actually mentioned in the Soros Leaks. Knowledge of their funding has come through other sources, including their own eventual admissions.

It is clear that while the Soros Leaks were extensive, they were not complete by any stretch of the imagination.

As for the FCCT, it should be no surprise that its members are involved in distortions, impropriety, and unethical behavior. After all, these are the same Western media organizations that helped lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to sell the US-British invasion and occupation of the Middle Eastern state in 2003, as well as helped distort the opening phases of the so-called "Arab Spring" which was later revealed to be the work of the US State Department, and indeed, Open Society.