Showing posts with label Karl Rove. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karl Rove. 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.’ ”

Friday, July 13, 2012

Those Pesky Republican Operatives

Killer Political Instincts 

©2005 by Linda Minor

A Taste for Blood 
George Walker Bush called Karl Rove his "Brain". Part of the story has been told many times. Paul Begala, Rove's Democrat counterpart said of one book, Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, by Wayne Slater and Jim Moore: 
"Love him or hate him, Karl Rove is one of the most brilliant and successful political consultants of all time." 
Brilliant, yes. But what makes him successful as a Republican strategist is that atavistic ability to lunge for the jugular and not let go. It is a trait that has come to epitomize Republican politics--at least the political game played by the strategists who get paid to manage the campaigns of of all levels of candidates running for office today.

RNC Head Picks Winner
It was an auspicious meeting between 23-year-old Karl and George H. W. Bush in 1973 which sealed the younger man's meteoric rise within his chosen career. Rove was vying for the chairmanship of the College Republicans against his more traditional opponent, Robert Edgeworth, who heartily embraced Barry Goldwater in that year when Bush was dubbed as chairman of the Republican National Committee at the height of the politically disastrous Watergate scandal. Given the choice between Rove and Edgeworth, the seemingly mild-mannered Bush picked Rove hands-down, according to a 2003 article by Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker. [1] The meeting would become only the first step in a long-term relationship between Rove and Bush, leading, as it turned out, to an even more co-dependent association between Rove and Bush's son, "Dubya".It was all about getting into power, which seemed like an impossible dream in those days after Watergate.

George Bush was, at that moment in time, frustrated because former Goldwater idealists, disgusted by Watergate shenanigans, were abandoning politics in droves.In their place, new power was being handed to a youthful electorate within the College Republican organization, whose value to the Party promised an abundance of gratuitous labor and an almost self-sufficient network of grassroots volunteers. Senator Carl T. Curtis summed it up well when he said:

"I can think of no other political organization which can give conservatives a bigger 'bang per buck.' " [2]

George Bush’s Political Secrets
In 1972 the 48-year-old George Bush had already experienced a varied career in both business and public life. A Navy pilot in World War II, he completed his studies at Yale in 1950 (Skull and Bones) and moved to Texas to engage in the oil business. Financed largely by clients of his father and uncle with connections to the investment banks of Brown Brothers Harriman and  G.H. Walker & Co., he worked first for a subsidiary of Dresser Industries (now part of Halliburton), which was then wholly owned by Brown Brothers Harriman, of which his father (Senator Prescott Bush) was a senior partner with a veritable coven of Skull and Bones bankers--Averell and Roland Harriman, Knight Woolley and Robert A. Lovett.

Prescott Bush in Brown Brothers Harriman office with Bonesmen partners Bunny Harriman, Knight Woolley and Lovett

After more than a decade in Texas, having attached himself to wealthy Texans Bill and Hugh Liedtke, W.S. Farish III, and Robert Mosbacher, Bush thought he had gained sufficient backing to enter the political fray. He managed to win election twice to a Republican Congressional seat from a wealthy precinct in Houston in 1966 and served until 1970 when then President Nixon, anticipating an important vote concerning China’s status to that body, appointed him to be Ambassador to the United Nations.

When hell broke loose over Watergate, Sen. Bob Dole, who had replaced Rogers Morton at the Republic National Committee, quickly resigned, and Bush took over in January 1973. Nixon had placed the real political power of his office in the hands of his former law partner, John Mitchell, who headed the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), the source of the scandal to begin with. By placing Bush at the RNC, the White House was hoping for more loyalty to Nixon than Dole had shown. And, too, Bush was also there to cover his own misdeeds and those of his fellow fundraisers, referred to on the “smoking gun” tape as “the Texans,” disclosure of whose role in the campaign could have revealed “the whole Bay of Pigs thing,” according to Nixon. [3]

Though conspiracy theories abound, George Bush’s real role in Republican politics during the Kennedy years remained buried, at least until publication of Russ Baker's ground-breaking book, Family of Secrets. Bush would have even more opportunity to cover up prior dirty tricks when President Gerald Ford appointed him Director of the C.I.A. late in 1975.

There's a Lesson There
Keeping the lid on the secrets being uppermost in his mind, when the stressed-out Bush met the arrogant and ebullient Rove in 1973, he was, therefore, inspired by the young man’s optimistic spirit, as well as his ability to engage in the same dirty tricks that were to land Donald Segretti in a prison cell. Segretti, one of many "advance men" that had been hired by CREEP to disrupt Democratic campaigns during the 1972 primary season through acts of political sabotage and espionage, once distributed a letter falsely claiming that former Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson had fathered an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old girl. He pled guilty in 1973 to three counts of distributing illegal campaign literature.

In 1970, it has been often reported, Rove, while working for a Republican candidate and pretending to be a Democrat volunteer for that opponent, removed two reams of stationery from the Democrat's office which he used to advertise the opening of his  headquarters, adding "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing." [4] Stories about such successes were undoubtedly boasted about at College Republicans training weekends. Karl Rove was a fast learner. 

While the Watergate scandal was at its peak, Rove’s opponents for the College Republican position—Terry Dolan and Robert Edgeworth—leaked to the Washington Post a tape recording of an amused Rove and another College Republican, recounting their antics and campaign espionage during previous political campaigns. The story that appeared in the Post ran under the headline

Republican Chairman George Bush was not amused. Edgeworth told the New Yorker, “Bush sent me ... the angriest letter I have ever received in my life. I had leaked to the Washington Post, and now I was out of the Party forever. That letter is a family heirloom." [5] In contrast, Bush rewarded Rove with a full-time job at the Republican National Committee. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Rove's Rise to Fame
Lee Atwater
The manager for Rove's 1973 CRNC campaign was none other than 22-year-old southerner, Lee Atwater, who would become famous for his killer political instincts seven years later, after George Bush hired him as strategist in his post-Watergate campaign for the presidency.  Rove's own fame came hot on Atwater's heels.

While a high school senior in Salt Lake City he worked in the campaign of Utah Senator Wallace F. Bennett and got his first taste of political strategy. As a freshman political science student at the University of Utah he interned for Ralph Tyler Smith’s 1970 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois and so overwhelmed his College Republican boss that he was rewarded with the job as executive director of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), located in Washington, D.C., no less. [6]

The move to the nation’s capital would be a heady experience for  Rove, a nerdy lad who already had an established history of impatience and even brazenness. As a protege of the College Republicans' national chairman, Joe Abate (now a lobbyist), Rove soon met others with his taste for political blood, including his former campaign manager Lee Atwater, as well as Roger Stone and Terry Dolan—each of whom was trained in the College Republican stable to be a political consultant for the conservative cause. A decade later, equally adept, yet unprincipled, trainees—Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist—joined them there. [7] 

Reed and Abramoff in a casino
Baby-faced Ralph Reed was anointed by Pat Robertson to head the IRS-designated not-for-profit 50l(c)(4) organization, the Christian Coalition. Time magazine in 2006, at the time of his fall from grace, quoted Reed, during the peak of his hubris, in a not-so-Christian moment, likening his political role to a jungle killer fighting a war:

Reed with Pat Robertson

"I do guerrilla warfare," Reed once boasted to a reporter, describing how he ambushed his enemies as a political operative. "I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag."

Rove's Background

Under Rove, direct mail—a dirt path blazed by Richard Viguerie—would be paved. The simple mailing list would be broadened to establish ideological coalitions spanning the nation. The Republican political base would be analyzed and broken down into categories with enthusiastic young ideologues appointed to raise money from each segment by preaching to their respective choirs about their candidates.

Because 1972 was the first year that eighteen-year-olds could vote, the CRNC became an official auxiliary to the Republican Party, and its chairman (Rove) was made an ex officio member of the national committee’s executive committee. Quite a step up for a young man of Rove’s age. 

At the same time, emotional upheavals in Rove's family life intensified the experience, as he traveled to his hometown of Sparks, Nevada, to check in on his mother and found himself profiled in the Reno Evening Gazette on January 31, 1972, which described him as:
a political science and history major at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where the College Republican National Committee has its offices. He attended Florence Drake Elementary School and Dilworth Junior High when he lived in Sparks.

The paper also proudly proclaimed his other achievements:
Former Sparks [Nevada] Youth Named To Who's Who
Karl Rove, the 21-year-old son of Mrs. Reba Rove of Sparks, has been appointed to Who's Who of Outstanding Young Men of America.

The upheaval involved Karl's being told by an aunt that Louis Claude Rove, Jr. was his adoptive, rather than his biological, dad. He also discovered that Louis was, in fact, gay. Even though Karl would continue to raise funds from the anti-homosexual Republican base constituents by bashing gays, he came to terms with his father's lifestyle.

Karl's mother, the former Reba Wood, was divorced from Louis on May 25, 1970 in Reno, Nevada, where Reba took her family to live after giving up her gift shop in Salt Lake City. Reba had met and married Louis while he was a student at the Colorado School of Mines in Denver, when Karl and his brother Eric were quite young. The name of their real father, her first husband, is unknown. Louis' graduation and marriage occurring at the beginning days of the 1950's uranium boom, led to one of his first jobs at Climax Molybdenum Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah. By 1966 he was chief geologist at Vitro Minerals Corp., created under supervision of the Atomic Energy Commission during the peak of the boom in 1955

Louis Rove's Resume
From Louis Rove's Who's Who listing
(Note: This blog previously explored a contract between LBJ friend, Morris D. Jaffe, and the Climax uranium company, as well as uranium mining companies owned by Dallasite, D. Harold Byrd. Readers can search this blog or scan tags for more on these subjects, by finding these tools in the frame to the right.)

Carl M. Loeb, Jr.

According to Climax's company history, it merged in 1957 with the non-ferrous metals mining company, American Metal Company (Limited)--the majority of whose stock in 1918 had been placed in a voting trust for its British alien owners, though the company president was an American, Carl M. Loeb (father of John L. Loeb). After the war it became American Metal Climax, Inc., still controlled by the Loebs, evidenced by the fact that Carl M. Loeb Jr.,
"a metallurgical engineer, ... was an executive with the Climax Molybdenum Company, which later became AMAX Inc. [in 1974]. He was also a limited partner in Loeb, Rhoades and Company, a brokerage and investment banking firm that his father, Carl Sr., and his brother John had helped found, and that was later merged into Shearson and then American Express."

The family moved to Sparks, Nevada as early as 1961:
Rove’s father and mother, Louis and Reba Rove, were listed in a local [Sparks] city directory beginning in 1961. Louis Rove was a geologist with the Utah Mining Company (one of the six corporations that built Hoover Dam). At the time, the Roves were living at 2195 Nelson Way, a block east of Pyramid Way and just north of the then relatively new Greenbrae Shopping Center.
By 1962, Louis Rove’s title had changed to regional manager and the corporation’s name had changed to Utah Construction and Mining Company [UCM]. In 1963, the Roves moved to 149 East Gault in Sparks. Karl was the second of five children in the family. His brothers and sisters were Olaf, Reba, Eric and Alma.
UCM was a high-security-clearance company which built a facility for the Atomic Energy Commission after first entering the nuclear industry in 1957. In 1964, according to Jason Wanlass's website at Weber State University, Communications Department, UCM was hired to construct an underground control center for Minuteman missile launching facilities. The company, which began by laying railroads and building dams, "under the guidance of Marriner Eccles, ... expanded into mining dredging, and land development."

Reba Wood Rove
Reba had been born in New Mexico in 1929 to Robert G. and Elsie Wood of Pueblo, Colorado (her father died there in 1973). Prior to her divorce and employment, she had been active in a women's group, Beta Sigma Phi, in Reno since moving there and served as president of the Reno-Sparks city council prior to 1966. 

After her 1970 divorce from Louis, her name sometimes appeared in the news as the coordinator for the Senior Citizen Resource Center, which handled the "meals on wheels" and similar programs for seniors in Reno's Washoe County, but it also announced her resignation from that post in May 1972. Karl's sister, Reba, who was only ten when her parents divorced, became a high school cheerleader. She and her sister Alma were also active in the local chapter of Rainbow Girls, a Masonic-connected society. In 1973 Alma married John Robert Monroe, but divorced him four years later.

It is quite likely that Reba had met her last husband, Lowell Henry Brinson, while she worked at the senior center in Reno. The son of a California railroad porter, he was regional coordinator in Stockton, California in 1968 for the Foster Grandparents Program, before moving to Reno to become Nevada's state director for ACTION, a new federal volunteer agency. Lowell and his wife Shirley had divorced soon after filing bankruptcy in Reno in late 1969--at the exact same point in time Louis Rove abandoned his family to take up a full-time gay lifestyle. They married in Los Angeles, California, on May 17, 1981, the same year she purportedly committed suicide. Although her suicide was mentioned in Time magazine, while reviewing The Architect, the marriage to Brinson was omitted:

In 1981 a third devastating blow struck what remained of the Rove family. Karl's mother committed suicide in Reno, Nev. She had surmounted much in her life, Rove says, starting with poverty. Her father had worked on a road crew in the San Juan Mountains and sold knives from the back of his truck to grocery stores in little out-of-the-way towns. "They lived in a house in southern Colorado where, when they finished reading the evening newspaper, they'd take flour paste and slap it on the wall for insulation," he says.

After persevering through all that, the disintegration of a marriage and the challenge of raising five children by two fathers, why had Reba Wood Rove reached a point where she couldn't go any further? "Again, it's hard to figure out," Rove says. "You can speculate on what demons she just wasn't able to overcome, but she couldn't. And it's very sad for my sisters, who were very close to her."

Louis Rove--Louie, as he was commonly known in the piercing party circuit--died on Jul 14, 2004 in Palm Springs, California. 

The Mullen Company, Utah and the CIA
As we mentioned earlier, Rove received his political baptism in the last campaign of Senator Wallace Bennett, who had entered the U.S. Senate only one year prior to Prescott Bush.  Bennett’s wife of 71 years was a daughter of the Mormon Church's former President, Heber J. Grant. 

Sen. Bob Bennett, defeated by Tea Party
Utah Senator Robert F. Bennett, who had headed his father’s campaign the year Rove worked for it, would be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. He had preceded Rove at the University of Utah by some fifteen years, graduating in 1957, and then running the family’s manufacturing business, from which he took a leave of absence to run his father’s 1962 campaign. He then moved to Washington permanently to work as press secretary for a Republican Congressman. After a stint as a lobbyist, he ran his father’s last Senatorial campaign in 1968, the year Richard Nixon was elected to his first term. President Nixon rewarded him with a job as Congressional liaison for the Department of Transportation.

That was the same year Bob Bennett met Charles Colson—once a lobbyist, an aide to former Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, and then corporation lawyer—who was tapped to be Nixon’s special counsel. By the summer of 1970, Bennett was receiving phone calls from Colson, as well as from fellow Mormon Bill Gay, who had come to dominate the Hughes Tool Corporation. Both men informed him that Robert R. Mullen was selling his public relations company, Mullen and Company, which already had the Washington account as lobbyist for the Mormon Church. [8] When Hughes Tool fired Democrat Lawrence O’Brien as its lobbyist, late in 1970, Bennett was hired to replace him. [9] Thus armed with this important client, Bennett left his job at Transportation to become president of Mullen and Company, the final purchase of the firm closing in September 1971.

E. Howard Hunt
Between 1968 and 1970, Chuck Colson and E. Howard Hunt, both alumni of Brown University (Hunt in the class of 1940 and Colson a 1953 grad) were seeing each other on a regular basis.[10]  Hunt, a naval officer and an agent of the Office of Strategic Services from 1943 until its demise, obtained a Guggenheim fellowship which paid him to travel in Mexico while he wrote his first novel (later a best-seller). After that he worked on the staff of Ambassador Averell Harriman, a partner of Prescott Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman, as well as adviser on-call to every Democratic President since FDR.

In 1948 Hunt left Harriman’s employ, having been recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency by Frank Wisner. In the meantime, he had married one of Harriman’s secretaries, Dorothy, who had spent the war years in Bern, Switzerland in the Treasury Department’s Hidden Assets Division, looking for hidden Nazi assets. Coincidentally, or not, it was in Bern where Allen Dulles, Hunt's ultimate boss in the CIA, spent the war years. Those contacts gave Hunt thus powerful references on his resume!

By the end of April 1970 all details fell in place for Hunt’s “retirement” from the C.I.A., and his employment one day later by Mullen and Company. According to Hunt's autobiography, Undercover: Memoirs of an American secret agent, he got the job through the “CIA’s placement service,” and was told by the placement officer that “the Mullen firm had ‘cooperated’ with CIA in the past." [11]

Subsequent to Hunt's settling into his new office, Mullen sold the firm to Rove's friend from Utah, Robert F. Bennett. Though miffed by the change in management, Hunt was stroked by Colson, who only a few months later telephoned him with the opportunity of a lifetime, to work at the White House. Thus, in July 1971 Hunt was hired to work on Colson’s staff as a consultant on a part-time basis until the end of the 1972 election, while still maintaining his position with Mullen and Company.

The rest, as they say, is history. Or it would be history...except for the fact that it's still going on!

[1]  For details of the battle for the chairmanship, see Nicolas Lemann, “The Controller,” The New Yorker (May 12, 2003).  Both Rove and opponent Robert Edgeworth claimed to have been elected and appealed to the Republican National Committee, of which George H.W. Bush had recently become chairman.

[2]  Scott Stewart, “The College Republicans – A Brief History” (July 24, 2002).

[3]  See the transcript from Nixon archives.

[4] Jake Tapper,“Spy vs. spy” in Salon, September 26, 2000.  See also the website supporting Public Broadcasting System’s “Frontline” episode on Karl Rove, "The Architect."
[5]  James Moore, Wayne Slater, Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), p. 135.

[6]  The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 September 2004.

[7]  For Norquist’s views on Rove’s agenda, see Michael Scherer’s article at Mother Jones, January 2004.

[8]  The Associated Press Political Service, 15 June 1992.

[9]  O’Brien had been placed on retainer in 1968 after Robert Kennedy’s assassination upon orders from Howard Hughes, who felt he hit paydirt when O’Brien also landed the job as head of the Democratic National Committee in 1969.

[10] Colson was president of Brown University’s alumni association and Hunt was vice president.  Brown University had been named for its first major donor and treasurer, Moses Brown, a member of a wealthy Rhode Island shipping family long engaged in the slave trade, who used public relations to create a reputation for themselves as abolitionists. In “Money and Gunpowder” it is revealed that Providence, Rhode Island was the home of John D. Rockefeller’s father-in-law, Senator Nelson Aldrich who was most instrumental in setting up legislation creating the Federal Reserve banking system. When Samuel and Flora Bush sent their eldest son, Prescott Bush, to St. George's prep school at nearby Newport, Rhode Island, Samuel Bush was placed on the board there, where he served for many years. The family vacationed on Narragansett  Bay every summer, and Flora Bush died there, having been struck accidentally by a car. See Part Two also.

[11]  Hunt specifically mentions in Undercover (Putnam 1974) that the PR firm had “established and managed a Free Cuba Committee for CIA.” [p. 141]  Hunt, at that point in his book, brings up a name—R. Spencer Oliver—whose real importance is never fully explained by Hunt. It is only through books published after that date that one learns what some say was the real reason for the burglary of the Democratic headquarters. What Hunt does not reveal is that, at the time of the Watergate break-in, Oliver was working for the Democratic National Committee, where, as Executive Director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen, he had an office in the complex. Not only that, but the key to his secretary’s desk was found in burglar Bernard Barker’s pocket. This secretary, Ida Maxwell "Maxie" Wells, filed a lawsuit against G. Gordon Liddy, which she lost and subsequently appealed.  The opinion in Wells v. Liddy, reversed on appeal, contains some most interesting information about a call girl ring operating out of Oliver’s office in the DNC.  Hunt’s purported reason for mentioning this name is to give evidence of why Hunt felt uneasy at Mullen after Bennett’s taking over the firm. He describes Oliver as the “son of a lobbyist occasionally employed by our firm.  A Democrat, Oliver had been engaged for some time in an international student exchange which I suspected to be financed by CIA.”  [Undercover, p. 142]  Hunt may have been referring to the National Student Association, headed by Cord Meyer, Jr., exposed in 1967 as a C.I.A. front by Ramparts. magazine in 1967.