The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

The Manhattan Institute (MI) is a right-wing 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank founded in 1978 by William J. Casey and Sir Anthony Fisher, Casey later became President Ronald Reagan's CIA director.

Powerful and controversial director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1981 to 1987 during the Ronald Reagan administration.

While affiliated with the law firm Rogers & Wells (1976-81), Casey became Reagan's presidential campaign manager and was subsequently awarded the directorship of the CIA in 1981. Under his leadership, covert action increased in such places as Afghanistan, Central America, and Angola, and the agency stepped up its support for various anticommunist insurgent organizations.

He was viewed as a pivotal figure in the CIA's secret involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair, in which U.S. weapons were sold to Iran and in which money from the sale was funneled to Nicaraguan rebels, in possible violation of U.S. law.

The Manhattan Institute is "focused on promoting free-market principles whose mission is to 'develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.'"

"The Manhattan Institute concerns itself with such things as 'welfare reform' (dismantling social programs), 'faith-based initiatives' (blurring the distinction between church and state), and 'education reform' (destroying public education),"

n 2001, David Frum left the Manhattan Institute "to join the Bush administration as a speechwriter. It was there that he coined the term 'axis of evil' to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. This became the signature phrase of President George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union speech and shorthand for Bush's war on terrorism."

Perhaps no other think tank has been so assiduously dedicated to the “ideas have consequences” mantra of traditional conservatism. The Manhattan Institute's long history is testament to the truth of this political maxim and to its corollary: money and marketing are essential for ideas to have consequences in the post-modern world. The institute's slogan is: “Turning intellect into influence.”

The "financing of neoconservatism doesn't come from D.C.", Mark Gerson is quoted as saying in the April 27, 2003, New York Observer.

"Instead, said Mr. Gerson, it comes from New York moneymen like Bruce Kovner, chairman of the Caxton Corporation, and Roger Hertog, the vice chairman of Alliance Capital Management. Last year, both financiers helped fund a new newspaper, The New York Sun, now fighting its anti-liberal battle with its New York Times –counterprogrammed slogan, 'A Different Point of View.' Both Mr. Kovner and Mr. Hertog also chipped in to join neoliberal Martin Peretz as co-owners of The New Republic. Mr. Kovner and Mr. Hertog, as enlightened neoconservative businessmen-intellectuals, are also on the board [of trustees] of the Manhattan Institute, where Mr. Gerson and William Kristol are also trustees, as well as the Washington, D.C.–based American Enterprise Institute."

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research has received $205,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.


"For 25 years, the Manhattan Institute has been an important force in shaping American political culture. We have supported and publicized research on our era's most challenging public policy issues: taxes, welfare, crime, the legal system, urban life, race, education, and many other topics. We have won new respect for market-oriented policies and helped make reform a reality."

"As for how I came to the Manhattan Institute, I met Antony Fisher in the Taiwan airport in 1978 on the way to a meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society—an organization founded by the Noble Prize winning author of The Road to Serfdom, Frederick Von Hayek.

It turned out that Anthony, a former RAF-Battle-of-Britain pilot, had, after the war, made it good in business, and had read an abbreviated version the Hayeck’s book in the Readers Digest. His interest sparked, he sought out Hayek, and asked him how a newly minted rich man could prevent his country and western civilization from going any further down the statist road the Austrian economist had famously described. At the time, Fisher thought going into politics was the answer.

Hayek answer: “If you want to do something more for your country, DON’T go into politics, since politicians always lag behind public opinion. And public opinion always lags behind the tide of intellectual thought. So try to change elite intellectual opinion. Which, he added, is a 20-30 year process.

Buying into the idea, Anthony left the chicken business where he had made his fortune and went into the think tank business—where he changed history. Within a decade, he had seeded 30 think tanks 20 nations around the world—a 150 think tanks to date.

As I mentioned, I had met Anthony Fisher in 1978 in Taiwan. This was shortly after he and Bill Casey, one of Wild Bill Donovan’s key people in the OSS in WWII—had founded the Manhattan Institute—the third installment in this free-market franchise.

It should be noted that his first venture the Social Market Foundation (TK) developed Margaret Thatcher as candidate and Thatcherism as governing philosophy." Manhattan Institute 2003


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