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House Moves To Defund Ukrainian NGO That Issued 'Enemies List' After Rep. Jim Banks Takes Action

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 - 12:40 AM

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has taken swift and decisive action against the Data Journalism Agency (texty.org.ua), a Ukrainian NGO with US State Department links that recently published an 'enemies list' of individuals and organizations opposed to the war in Ukraine.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

Following a letter sent by Banks to his Republican colleagues, the House Appropriations Committee has passed a provision that would prohibit US funding and sever ties with the NGO, which deemed 76  organizations and 388 individuals as enemies of Ukraine - including ZeroHedge and prominent American politicians opposed to the war in Ukraine.

"Federal bureaucrats should not support or partner with foreign groups that attempt to intimidate and silence U.S. citizens and lawmakers," Banks wrote in his letter. "I am urging the Appropriations Committee majority to support efforts in the Fiscal Year 2025 SFOPS bill to force the State Department and USAID to end all relations with foreign NGOs like TEXTY that seek to silence the speech of Americans they dislike and to sway U.S. policymakers to serve their own interests."

Texty.org.ua was founded by Anatoly Bondarenko, a participant in the State Department's TechCamp program, which aims to train foreign journalists and activists in digital skills. The relationship between Bondarenko and the State Department has been publicly acknowledged, adding layers to the debate over the NGO's activities and its impact on U.S. interests.

This legislative action occurs amidst broader discussions about foreign influence in American politics, with increasing scrutiny on how foreign entities may use U.S.-linked platforms or resources to sway public and political opinion in the United States. As this bill moves forward, it sets the stage for further debates on the balance between global cooperation and safeguarding national sovereignty in the realm of information and policy.

On Tuesday, Banks sent a letter to journalist Jack Posobiec informing him that his name appears on the TEXTY list, and notifying him of his intent to put a stop to US taxpayers funding the organization.

"I’m not bothered by what foreign nations think of me," Banks said after the Appropriations Committee moved forward with his suggested provision. "But it’s shameful for our agencies to be using Hoosiers’ tax dollars to collaborate with foreign groups that attempt to intimidate U.S. citizens and lawmakers. I’d like to thank the Republicans on the Appropriations Committee for defunding any such work with the Data Journalism Agency."

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