by F. William Engdahl
May 5, 2010
An organization calling itself Reporters Without Borders (RWB; French:
Reporters sans frontières, or RSF) has just named,
Russian Prime Minister
China’s President Hu Jintao
Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko,
...to their list of Forty Worst Predators of Press Freedom for 2010.
significant about their list of ‘bad guys’ is the geopolitical relation of
those leaders and those countries to the current ‘enemies list’ of the US
That is no accident, as becomes clear when we look more
closely at who funds RWB.
In their declaration RWB states,
“Since these predators have faces, we must
know them to better denounce them. Reporters without Borders has decided to
draw their portraits.”
Their colorful language is no accident. The term
predator conjures up images of horror in most people.
In their latest ‘Evil Guys’ list just released they remark about Russia’s
"As well as manipulating groups and institutions, Putin has promoted
a climate of pumped-up national pride that encourages the persecution of
dissidents and freethinkers and fosters a level of impunity that is steadily
undermining the rule of law.”
RWB said that Putin,
"the former KGB officer,"
has exerted so much control over all aspects of life in Russia that "the
national TV stations now speak with a single voice."
the citation and a report of the naming of Putin appeared in an article in
the Russian state-owned media, RIA Novosti.
With respect to China, RWB states:
“In honor of the Shanghai World Expo,
the biggest display of Chinese might (sic) since the 2008 Olympic Games,
Reporters Without Borders has for the past week been inviting Internet users
to visit a specially created page on its website dedicated to the freedoms
that are flouted in China.” 
Perhaps just as important as the list of bad guys from RWB are
that are not on it.
One might ask why names of such world-class enemies of
free speech and press freedom as,
Georgia’s dictator, President Mikhail Saakashvili
or the former Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko
recently deposed dictator of Kyrgyzstan, Bakiyev,
All three came
to power in Washington-backed coups, also termed Color Revolutions.
all the persons just named by RWB as “predators” have been targets of
Washington-financed destabilization attempts in recent years.
Who stands behind RWB?
The slick media image that RWB presents to the world, such as using the term
“predators,” is no accident. It is the product of RWB’s ad agency.
Announcing the list of forty on May 3 on their website, RWB states,
list of Predators of Press Freedom is released today, backed by a campaign
ad produced by the Saatchi & Saatchi agency... There are 40 names on this
year’s list of predators... that cannot stand the press, treat it as an
enemy and directly attack journalists. They are powerful, dangerous, violent
and above the law.” 
Saatchi & Saatchi is one of the world’s most influential “hidden persuaders”
or PR firms. They are credited with the campaign that brought Margaret
Thatcher to power and are the ad firm for Gordon Brown’s Labour Party.
Clients have included,
Proctor & Gamble
One might ask where RWB gets the finances to hire such elite advisors?
NED hiding behind RWB
The most interesting question is not the deeds of Hu Jintao or Putin or
Ahmadinejad in the last year in relation to their national press, but rather
who is judging these leaders.
We might well ask,
“Who judges the judges?”
The answer is, Washington.
Reporters Without Borders is an international Non-Governmental Organization
(NGO). According to its website it is headquartered in Paris, France. Paris
is a curious home base for an organization that, as it turns out, is
financed by the US Congress and by agencies tied to the US government.
If we go to the RWB website to find who stands behind these self-anointed
judges of world press freedom, we find nothing. Not even their board of
directors are named, let alone their financial backers. Their annual
published Income and Expenditure statements give no clue who stands behind
Millions of dollars of their annual income are disclosed as being from “sale
of publications.” It does not name the publications or to whom they were
As one researcher noted,
“Even taking into account that the books are
published for free, it would have had to sell 170 200 books in 2004 and 188
400 books in 2005 to earn the more than $2 million the organization claims
to make each year 516 books per day in 2005. The money clearly had to come
from other sources, as it turns out it did.”
An attempt to go on the RWB
website to order any of their publications found no link to any purchasing
information nor any price listings or book summary. Very curious indeed.
In their official financial statements and income accounts published in
September 2009, they state:
“The organization's finances in 2008 were marked
by the end of the campaign (begun in 2001) over the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games which significantly affected income and expenditure.” 
That means RWB spent eight years and undisclosed amounts of money campaigning against
the Government of China in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
purpose? Notably, the RWB names China’s President Hu Jintao as this year’s
‘predator’ for his actions in cracking down on unrest in Tibet in March 2010
and Xinjiang in July 2009, both of which were the covert work of a
US-financed NGO called National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Hmmm...
After years of trying to hide it, Robert Menard, Paris-based
Secretary-General of Reporters Sans Frontieres or RWB, confessed that the
RWB budget was primarily funded by,
“US organizations strictly linked to US
Those US based organizations which support RWB include:
Also included is the
Center for Free
Cuba, whose trustee, Otto Reich, was forced to resign from the
Bush Administration after exposure of his role in a CIA-backed coup attempt
against Venezuela’s democratically elected President Hugo Chavez.
As one researcher found after months of trying to get a reply from NED about
their funding of Reporters Without Borders, which included a flat denial
from RSF executive director Lucie Morillon, the NED revealed, according to
Diana Barahona writing in Znet that Reporters Without Borders received
grants over at least three years from the International Republican
IRI is one of four subsidiaries of NED.
spokesperson has denied IRI funding the RWB.
The NED, as I detail in my book,
Full Spectrum Dominance - Totalitarian
Democracy in the New World Order, was created by the US Congress during the
Reagan administration on the initiative of then-CIA Director Bill Casey
replace the CIA's civil society covert action programs, which had been
exposed by the Church committee in the mid-1970s.
As Allen Weinstein, the
man who drafted the legislation creating the NED admitted years later,
lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” 
Perhaps an organization sitting as judge of world press freedom ought itself
to practice a little more openness and transparency about where its backing
Otherwise we might think they have something to hide...
 RIA Novosti, RSF names Putin, Kadyrov
freedom "predators," RIA Novisti, Moscow, May 4, 2010, accessed in
 Reporters Without Borders website, Reporters without Borders works
on all fronts, May 3, 2010, accessed in http://en.rsf.org/reporters-sans-frontieres-sur-tous-03-05-2010,37337.html
 Diana Barahona, Reporters Without Borders and Washington's Coups,
ZNet, August 2, 2006, accessed in http://www.zcommunications.org/reporters-without-borders-and-washingtons-coups-by-diana-barahona
 Reporters Without Borders, Income and Expenditures to end December
2008, published September 7, 2009, accessed in http://en.rsf.org/income-and-expenditure-07-09-2009,34401
 Source Watch, Reporters Without Borders, accessed in http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Reporters_Without_Borders
 Diana Barahona, op.cit. An IRI spokesperson has denied IRI funding
 Allen Weinstein, quoted in David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to
Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September 1991,