The Heritage Foundation vs Peace
But critics say decisions made here have less to do with democracy and more to do with forwarding corporate interests. Former US Justice Department official John Yoo is not quite beloved by everyone.
At a recent appearance at the Heritage Foundation, he was boo’d by someone in the audience as he was getting ready to speak.
“Shame on your Mr Yoo,” she screamed out. “Shame on Heritage Foundation. You don’t deserve to be here. You are wrong,” the woman said before being escorted out.
Those who work for the Heritage Foundation couldn’t disagree more. They welcomed him with open arms, as they do so many other conservative pundits and politicians.
Yoo is often criticized because he wrote the memo giving legal justification for the use of torture, in which he said that “federal law does not apply to interrogations of enemy combatants.”
"We shouldn’t have one hand tied behind our back and limiting ourselves just to using the police and FBI,” Yoo said in his speech at Heritage. “We might need to use the military."
President George W. Bush chose the sympathetic venue to defend his appointment of Michael Mukasey, his nomination for Attorney General in jeopardy after he refused to declare water boarding illegal.
"Senate leaders must move this nomination out of committee, bring it to the senate floor and confirm this good man," President Bush declared in a speech in 2007.
"This is an organization that pushes a corporate agenda and a war profiteers agenda and a right wing religious agenda,” said author and activist David Swanson. “There is war propaganda coming out of our ears in this town and it’s those institutions like the Heritage Foundation that are the force behind it".
Swanson says those agendas are often fought for by powerful decision-makers in Washington.
The power of the Heritage Foundation is its ability to shape the debate.
“They put out ideas that otherwise you might think are absolutely insane that become mainstream corporate media television discussion and congressional discussion and end up in legislation and end up being passed into law,” Swanson said.
During the 1980s, the Heritage Foundation pushed toward a containment policy of towards the Soviet Union .
“So therefore you fund the Mujahideen, you found the Nicaraguan contras-you back Maoist groups in Angola, anything to weaken the soviet empire which was seen as the overwhelming threat both by traditional right wing nationalists, the kind you find at heritage," said Jim Lobe
They are Interventionist policies critics say still haunt America…and yet continue to be pushed for again and again