Showing posts with label Condolezza Rice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Condolezza Rice. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Capitalizing Anti-Communism


© 2005 by Linda Minor
(Updated in 2010)
Credit to Vanity Fair

The havoc caused by just these 16 words:
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

President George W. Bush used just sixteen words (quoted above) in his State of the Union Message in January 2003 to justify his military attack on Iraq. It took six months for Ambassador Joseph Wilson to contradict those words in the public media — averring in a July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed piece (“What I Didn’t Find in Africa”) that the Bush administration knew, or should have known, almost a year before his January speech that any report claiming that Saddam had obtained uranium from Niger in a quantity capable of using for weapons of mass destruction was a bald-faced lie. [1]

Dementia Admitted
Being called liars by Wilson came as quite a shock to the Bush administration—representing as it did the first time anyone with clout had publicly questioned the veracity of the reason given for precipitating the war in Iraq. Having been an ambassador in Africa (a Bush I appointee) and an envoy in Niger (for the Clinton National Security Council) until 1998, Wilson then returned to Niger early in 2002 at the request of CIA officials to whom Vice President Dick Cheney had posed a question regarding Saddam's access to nuclear weapons.
Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, admitted two weeks after Wilson’s article in the Times that he should have deleted the “sixteen words” from Bush’s January speech because, as he later recalled, CIA Director George Tenet had  asked him to do so for a speech Bush gave in Ohio three months before the January speech..But, Hadley explained, he had “forgotten” Tenet’s warning during the intervening time.. 

Hadley’s boss, Condoleezza Rice, claiming the same amnesiatic excuse and sounding like a ditzy California valley girl, stated: 
“What we learned later (and I did not know at the time, and certainly did not know until just before Steve Hadley went out to say what he said last week) was that the director [Tenet] had also sent over to the White House a set of clearance comments that explained why he wanted this out of the speech.  I can tell you, I either didn’t see the memo, or I don’t remember seeing the memo.”  [2]
All that was missing was for Condi to have punctuated her statement with a couple of sideways head nods, a "duh," and perhaps to sprinkle in a "like" or two throughout her sentences.

While the Bush officials were thus admitting their dementia, Robert Novak, in his July 14 syndicated column—citing “two senior administration officials” as his sources—identified Valerie Plame, wife of their only accuser, as a Central Intelligence Agency operative who had worked in the area of weapons of mass destruction. [3]

Senior Administration Officials Spring Leaks
Wilson immediately jumped to the core of the matter, speculating as to the identity of these "senior officials":
“Senior advisers close to the president may well have been clever enough to have used others to do the actual leaking, in order to keep their fingerprints off the crime. John Hannah and David Wurmser, mid-level political appointees in the vice president’s office, have both been suggested as sources of the leaks. I don’t know either, though at the time of the leak, Wurmser, a prominent neoconservative, was working as a special assistant to John Bolton at the State Department. Mid-level officials, however, do not leak information without authority from a higher level.” [4]
Calling them "zealots," and part of a "government cult," Wilson traced the roots back to Albert and Roberta Morgan Wohlstetter of the University of Chicago— mentors both to Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. The ultimate mission in Iraq, he revealed, "was always about a larger neoconservative agenda of projecting force as the means of imposing solutions." Roberta Mary Morgan's father, Edmund M. Morgan, Jr., a law professor at Yale in 1920, was later a Harvard Law colleague of Felix Frankfurter.

Extremism in the Defense of Liberty 
John Robert Bolton II, like many of his College Republican counterparts, became a Republican almost before he could tie his shoes, though he was not a member of the College Republican National Committee.[5]  Young Johnny was instead active in the Young Republican organization at Yale for four years—1966 to 1970.  He had cut his teeth, however, in the 1964 Goldwater campaign at his prep school in Baltimore—the McDonogh School—where he was awarded one of the scholarships to poor (in the financial sense) students for whose education the school was originally created. In 1964, when John Bolton was sixteen years old and his peers were thinking about girls, cars, football or baseball, Johnny was meditating upon Barry Goldwater’s classic statement: 
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Bolton would never thereafter be ascribed with the virtue of moderation. The vice of extremism is another matter.

Bolton fit the profile which the College Republican (CR) organization was seeking. Led by Morton Blackwell, CR was recruiting young political operatives in 1971, while Blackwell's fellow Virginia attorney, Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. (later appointed to the Supreme Court), was writing in his “Confidential Memorandum: Attack on American Free Enterprise System,” addressed to his next-door neighbor, Eugene Sydnor (then in charge of the education committee for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce [6]) that the immediate goal of recruitment was to ascertain “avenues of action” which could be pursued to correct the “imbalance” on campus and the public at large in order to save the free enterprise system. [7]

Pendulum Swings to the Right
Morton Blackwell, mentor for the College Republican organization, was trained by Tea Party hero, Richard Viguerie, who as a young man in his twenties, earned his living working for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF)—founded in 1960 by William F. Buckley, Jr. (Yale, Skull and Bones, 1950). Buckley had previously served as a Central Intelligence Agency operative in Tokyo and Mexico City. [8]

Though Buckley’s National Review claimed to be the voice of proponents for free enterprise, evaluated on that basis alone, it was 
a dud.
Since free enterprise operates on the profit motive, we have to assume that, since it continued to operate without profit, it was being subsidized by someone or something. 

Buckley started the magazine with $125,000 from his family and $300,000 “raised elsewhere.” [10]  Who was paying Buckley to run this right-wing rag so soon after his book God and Man at Yale had attacked the so-called leftist administration and faculty at Yale?

In 1951 fellow Bonesman McGeorge Bundy “gleefully accepted an assignment from The Atlantic Monthly to attack William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale. Buckley, Bundy charged, was a ‘twisted and ignorant young man.’ Buckley, in turn, ridiculed Bundy as a ‘haughty totalitarian’ and a ‘Court Hatchet-Man.’” [11] Skull and Bones men must have been delighted to witness the Hegelian dialectic at work and play.

Skull and Bones at Play?
Equally as intriguing as Buckley’s ability to continue such a money-losing operation for so long is the list of names he attracted to serve on the board of YAF. Ronald Reagan was on the YAF’s national advisory board in 1962, and retired Major General Charles A. Willoughby was there by 1963. 
Willoughby, whose German birth and parentage are shrouded in ambiguity, enlisted in the Army as Adolf Charles Weidenbach, then changed his surname to Willoughby in 1910. [12] He served as General MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence in the General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area for the decade beginning 1941 and later joined the International Committee for the Defense of Christian Culture (ICDCC), a major funder of which was Nelson Bunker Hunt, son of Texan H.L. Hunt, who had been Willoughby’s friend since the 1950’s. [13]

Direct mail was a part of the advertising and public relations industry, and Viguerie was therefore working for these right-wing idealogues on YAF's board while he handled mail order operations. They sent mailings and fundraising letters out to the mailing list, hoping either to convince Americans of the need to pursue the cold war militarism against Communism in the Soviet Union and China or to raise funds for candidates. In 1964 Viguerie began his own direct-mail company, using the YAF and Goldwater’s mailing lists. Long before personal computers, iPhones or bloggers, he taught Morton Blackwell how to do direct mail and to train others under the auspices of the College Republican National Committee. Once Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, Morton Blackwell had a White House office as “liaison with conservative groups.[14]  

Such conservative groups included the National Conservative Political Action Committee, whose director—one of Blackwell’s College Republican trainees, John T. "Terry" Dolan—poured more than $7 million into Republican campaign coffers in 1980. [15] That was a lot of money in those days. Where did it really come from?  Could “direct mail” have been a cover for laundering illicit funds through the intricate layers of political action committees set up to flaunt the spirit of campaign finance legislation?  That’s a subject for further research. 

World Anti-Communist League
What our research to date does reveal, however, is that the career of Richard Viguerie—described in Time magazine as a “direct-mail conglomerateur” in Falls Church, Virginia (who, like Buckley at National Review, could afford to operate his monthly Conservative Digest at more than a million dollar per year loss) had suspicious connections early on to the World Anti-Communist League. [16] One time editor at Conservative Digest was Lee Edwards, who
“had a practice of starting up organizations like the ‘Underground Bible Fund’ or ‘Friends of the FBI,’ which were very good at soliciting donations but not so good at actually fulfilling their promises to distribute Bibles behind the Iron Curtain or defend the good name of J. Edgar Hoover.” 
In 1970 Edwards had also set up the first United States affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League called the “American Council for World Freedom.”  Edwards’ activities were mentioned in a book by another member of the New Right, Alan Crawford as follows: 
Then there is Lee Edwards, once a Young Americans for Freedom activist, the first editor of Viguerie’s Conservative Digest. When the Justice Department brought suit against the American-Chilean Council in 1978, it came out that one of the organization's activities had been to plant material favorable to the Pinochet government of Chile with Edwards, then a Washington-based public relations man, who writes and distributes his own newspaper column. Edwards included the information in his newspaper articles. The accomplishment was reported back to the Chileans by the Washington officer of the American-Chilean Council, L. Francis Bouchey, another product of Young Americans for Freedom, who had shared office space with Edwards back in 1975 when Edwards was working closely with representatives of the Taiwan government. (p. 197) [17]
Another book, Inside the League, written in 1986, described Edwards’ associates as neo-Nazis:
Bankrolling themselves by running “charities” with exorbitant operating costs, they sought out others who shared their apocalyptic vision of the takeover of the world by communists and their “fellow travellers,” whether in the American Independent Party or in the World Anti-Communist League. Today Edwards is president of the Center for International Relations, a conservative think tank funded by the Reagan Administration.... With the resignation of the American Council for World Freedom in 1975, the door was open for an energetic neo-Nazi to transform the face of the League in the United States and Europe, plunging it even further into the depths of fanaticism. [18]


[1] Joseph Wilson, The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity (Carroll & Graf,  2004),  p. 1.  The July 6 New York Times article appears at the Common Dreams News Center website.

[2] Wilson, The Politics of Truth, p. 353.

[3] Novak stated: “Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.... All this was forgotten until reporter Walter Pincus revealed in the Washington Post June 12 that an unnamed retired diplomat had given the CIA a negative report. Not until Wilson went public on July 6, however, did his finding ignite the firestorm.”

[4] Wilson, The Politics of Truth, p. 445.

[5] We saw in a recent Sanders Research article, “Killer Political Instincts,” that while Karl Rove was in high school in Utah he was working on the campaign of Republican Senator Wallace Bennett, whose son controlled a public relations firm that employed career intelligence operatives who were hired to re-elect Richard Nixon.  The article also mentioned that Rove’s recruiters, the College Republican National Committee, also trained Ralph Reed, Terry Dolan, Roger Stone, Grover Norquist, Lee Atwater, and Jack Abramoff (Tom Delay’s fund-raiser recently indicted for dirty tricks)—indoctrinating them into their future roles in political consulting and mail-order to elect extreme right wing candidates.

[6] The Chamber of Commerce was a pro-business lobby founded by Skull and Bones member, William Howard Taft in 1911 with a mission to create a “social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility." Chamber history, according to its website. The quote was attributed to Taft in a press release dated April 22, 2002 and is now the Chamber's Mission Statement.

[7] Before being named to the Supreme Court by President Nixon, Powell had served on a “Blue Ribbon Defense Panel” chaired by Gilbert W. Fitzhugh, Board Chairman of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which had made recommendations for restructuring military procurement procedures, as well as intelligence resources.  Powell’s memo is reminiscent of how Skull and Bones at Yale began in 1832 to take control of every facet of America’s established institutions.  See Antony C. Sutton, America’s Secret Establishment (1986).

[8]  Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much p. 191.

[9] Time, Oct. 31, 1960.

[10] Time, Nov. 3, 1967.

[11]  Alfred S. Regnery, Upstream: the ascendance of American conservatism, Volume 2007 (Simon and Schuster, Inc.  2008), p. 50.

[12] Frank Kluckhohn, The Reporter (New York Journal) August 19, 1952.  In 1913, “having reached the rank of sergeant, he left the service to enter the senior class of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Graduated from Gettysburg, he studied for an M.A. at the University of Kansas at Lawrence and then taught languages at the Howe School for girls, in Howe, Indiana, and at Racine College in Wisconsin. Then in 1916 he re-entered the Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. He served on the Mexican border and later was sent to France, where he took aviation training, flew as a pursuit pilot, and helped train Allied fliers.”  While in Manila, “Willoughby became known as the close friend of Andres Soriano, the Spanish Club's most influential member and one of the richest men in the Philippines.... Soriano was not only Willoughby's friend; he was also the good friend of General MacArthur and of another principal MacArthur assistant, Major General Courtney Whitney, who before the war was a lawyer and promoter in Manila. Soriano had—and still has—mining interests, breweries, airlines, shipping, radio stations, textiles, jute plants, and the Philippine concessions for the products of many great American firms.”

[13] Dick Russell, p. 322.

[14] Time, July 5, 1982.

[15] Terry’s brother Anthony, incidentally, was a Reagan speechwriter.  Dolan’s name had been first mentioned in Time in 1979. 

[16] Time, December 8, 1961.   

[17] Crawford’s book is called Thunder on the Right.  A review appears in an article written by  Corey Panshin.

[18] Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League  (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1986).  The connection between Viguerie, Rev. Billy James Hargis, the John Birch Society, and Buckley’s YAF was hinted at by the authors:  “The first American League Chapter was the American Council for World Freedom (ACWF), founded in 1970 in Washington, D.C. The main force behind its creation, and its first secretary, was Lee Edwards, head of a public relations firm and former director of Young Americans for Freedom, the youth arm of the John Birch Society.  Edwards was a stalwart of the emergent New Right in American politics and brought his own questionable background and motives into the World Anti-Communist League as a professional fund-raiser. Along with a handful of other New Right fund-raisers such as Richard Viguerie and Patrick Gorman, Edwards was in the business of raising donations for charitable or nonprofit organizations and then keeping a large chunk of the 'money, sometimes over ninety percent, for his ‘operation expenses.’ ”