Justin Raimondo had this to say in a February 2012 piece about Trygve Olson, something of a mysterious democracy operative, whose specialty is overseas revolutions, who has ended up a top adviser to the Ron Paul campaign:
Ron himself is incorruptible: indeed, he is far more radical on foreign policy than I ever expected him to be. When the subject is economics, he always brings it back to foreign policy, pointing out the indissoluble link between a free and growing economy and a peaceful foreign policy. He is constantly saying that if only we would get rid of the Empire, we could begin to reform our domestic entitlement programs and deal with all the problems we have right here at home.
They can’t influence Ron – but they can influence his organization. [WaPo reporter Amy] Gardner reports that after Ron’s son, Rand, won the Kentucky primary against an Establishment opponent, "Then, quite strangely, the establishment and the Pauls came together":
"At [Sen. Mitch] McConnell’s request, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent an adviser to Kentucky to watch over Rand Paul’s general-election campaign — ‘to be the grown-up in the room,’ according to one Washington Republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.
"The adviser, Trygve Olson, developed a friendship with Rand Paul, and the two realized that they could teach each other a lot — to the benefit of both candidate and party. Olson showed Paul and his campaign establishment tactics: working with the news media, fine-tuning its message. And Paul showed Olson — and by extension, McConnell — how many people were drawn to the GOP by his message of fiscal responsibility…. And at Rand Paul’s suggestion, Olson joined his father’s presidential campaign this year, basically to do what he did for Rand: help bring the Paul constituency into the Republican coalition without threatening the party. It’s probably no small coincidence that the partnership helps Rand’s burgeoning political career, too."
Who is Trygve Olson? A former official of the International Republican Institute(IRI), a tax-funded "regime-change" operation under the rubric of the National Endowment for Democracy, Olson was involved in several of the "color revolutions" that swept Eastern Europe and the central Asian former Soviet republics during the Bush years. ThisNew York Times article reports on his activities in Belarus meddling in their internal politics and plotting to overthrow its thuggish President, Alexander Lukashenko: he also played a part in stirring up similar trouble on Washington’s behalf in Serbia and Poland.
At a meeting of the New Atlantic Initiative, another semi-official interventionist outfit, in 2004, Olson appeared on the same podium as various government apparatchiks of the old Cold Warrior/Radio Free Europe type, who gave seminars on the ins-and-outs of successful "regime change." While others gave talks on Lukashenko’s "links" to Saddam Hussein and Israel’s other enemies in the region, Olson gave a presentation on polling results in the country. A particular area of concern was the possibility of an economic or political union with Russia, which was seen by the participants as the main threat to "democracy" and Europeanization in Belarus. And while meddling in Eastern Europe appears to be his specialty – his wife, Erika Veberyte, served as chief foreign policy advisor to the Speaker of the Lithuanian parliament – this biography on the web site of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University says:
"Mr. Olson has helped advise political parties and candidates in numerous countries throughout the world including nearly all of Central and Eastern Europe, Indonesia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Serbia."
The "color revolutions" of the Bush era were brazen attempts to overthrow regimes deemed unfriendly to the US, and absorb the scattered pieces of the former Soviet Union into the Western sphere of influence. Of course, these efforts all backfired: in Georgia, for one example, our chosen candidate set up a veritabledictatorship, jailed his opponents for "treason," and launched a disastrous war against Russia. In Ukraineand Kyrgyzstan, too, our sock puppets set themselves up for a backlash: both US-installed regimes have since been ousted, either by being unceremoniously voted out of office or by force. In Venezuela, the US government has long sought to overthrow the blustering caudillo, Hugo Chavez, and our meddling has only played into his hands, enabling him to muster nationalist resentment against the democratic opposition. The same is generally true elsewhere. These "strategic" deployments of "soft power" never work, and wind up hurting our interests rather than advancing them.
Another aspect of these "soft power" deployments is the inevitable involvement of the American intelligence community in some form or other, engaging in covert operations with no real congressional oversight and without the knowledge or consent of the American people. This can lead to all kinds of abuses that inevitably impact on our domestic politics – an area where the CIA is supposedly forbidden from entering, although that has never been the case.
In the New York Times piece on the Belarussian operation, the reporter describes a meeting attended by Olson and Belarussian dissidents as "a meeting of the freedom industry," a telling description because that’s exactly what it is: an industry, one in which Olson is a player. It’s the "regime change" industry that has flourished in this country ever since the start of the cold war. The necons played a key role in staffing the organizations and semi-official front groups into which billions of our tax dollar flowed: Reagan gave the National Endowment for Democracy to them as a sort of playground, where they were out of the way and free to think they had some real influence on the administration. In the post-cold war world, the NED took on added importance – and more tax dollars – as the US tried to cash in on the Soviet collapse by sponsoring "color revolutions" throughout the former Soviet bloc. It didn’t matter that the very reason for launching these cold war institutions was no longer in existence: as one needn’t explain to a Ron Paul supporter, government programs have a life of their own, and killing them is akin to driving a stake through the heart of a vampire – a difficult and often impossible feat.
So we have a major player in the "regime change" industry as a "senior advisor" to the Paul campaign: and not only that but a pedagogical relationship between Olson and Rand Paul. The latter has presumably learned from the former why draconian sanctions on Iran – deemed an "act of war" by his father – are a good idea and ought to be supported. Paul recently joined ninety-nine other similarly clueless US Senators in voting "aye" on what is in effect an economic blockade against Iran.
The Establishment’s strategy is clear: get to the father through the son, whose political career can be imperiled by the GOP elders, like McConnell (although that didn’t stop Paul from getting elected over McConnel’s opposition). If the Paul campaign is "infiltrating" the GOP, as Gardner puts it, then the GOP Establishment is intent on infiltrating the Paul campaign at the highest levels.