Friday, August 30, 2013

Fear and Loathing in the American Security Council Part II

Welcome to the second installment in my series examining the American Security Council. Over the course of the first installment of this series I examined the origins of the ASC, with a special emphasis on the political climate into which it was born. Effectively the ASC sprang into being at a time when there was a transition in the nation's economy, and as a result a shift in the elite itself. A combination of defense contractors, new moneyed families (many of whom with ties to the oil industry) and former military men began to emerge as a challenge to the so-called Eastern Establishment (a clique of largely old moneyed Northeastern-based families involved in heavy industry and banking that have been a long time obsession of the conspiratorial right) for control over the nation's political machinery.

The Eastern Establishment had long used the Council on Foreign Relations (the American branch of the Round Table group, a think tank created by British elites to forge closer relations with other Anglo-Saxon centric countries and ultimately open up every market in the world to an international system of finance) as a propaganda organ to format a consensus amongst business and political leaders, academia, the media and other elites. These individuals in turn sold the consensus to the general public, or at least tried to. The Eastern Establishment was only able to dominate, but never totally control, the public machinery. But beyond the vox populi there were other rival camps of elites, and by the 1950s the military-industrial complex and it's more fanatical supporters (who, for the sake of brevity, I will refer to as the Prussians) had adopted the methods of their rivals and fielded their own think tank: the American Security Council.

From the early 1960s till the late 1980s these two "think tanks" would be at the forefront of a struggle over America's foreign policy unfolding within the ranks of the elite
Naturally one of the chief functions of the ASC was propaganda and by all accounts it performed this task well. In point of fact, the ASC would have a significant influence on the national debate concerning virtually every major defense-related topic from the early 1960s until the late 1980s. The heart of the ASC's propaganda efforts were promoting a fanatical form of anticommunism to elites and the general public alike. It was in this way that Council not only began to shape the national debate, but also pick up further supporters from within the Eastern Establishment.
"... The Council was also active in Cold War 'education' aimed at the general public. Between 1955 and 1961, the ASC cosponsored an annual series of meetings called the National Military-Industrial Conferences, which brought Pentagon and National Security Council personnel together with executives from United Fruit, Standard Oil, Honeywell, U.S. Steel, Sears Roebuck and other corporations.
"At the 1958 National Military-Industrial Conference, the ASC launched the Institute for American Strategy for the purpose of inculcating elites and the public with anticommunist ideology. Administration of the Institute was granted to Frank Barnett, U.S. Army Colonel William Kintner, and other 'political warfare' advocates then stationed at the University of Pennsylvania's Foreign Policy Research Institute. Barnett was also research director for the Institute's key corporate benefactor, the Richardson Foundation (the charitable arm of the Vick Chemical Company). In 1959 and 1960 the ostensibly private Institute for American Strategy held seminars for reserve officers at the National War College, under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. The manual for these seminars was the book American Strategy for the Nuclear Age, prepared by Foreign Policy Research Institute analysts Walter F. Hahn and John C. Neff. This book outlines an aggressive strategy of 'protracted conflict' with the Soviets, involving the training of citizens and government leaders in 'psychological warfare' schools. By 1961, the Institute for American Strategy had provided 10,000 copies of American Strategy to the National University Extension Association for distribution to public school libraries and citizen debate groups.
"Through the National Military-Industrial Conferences, regional meetings, National War College seminars and publications, the Institute began to assume the role of a military adjunct and a quasi-governmental propaganda agency. However, by 1961, Senator William J. Fulbright, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, became alarmed by what he perceived to be a combination of right-wing and military encroachment on the formation of U.S. public opinion...
"Despite the controversy, the American Security Council and the Institute for American Strategy continued their activities unabated. In fact, in 1962 the Council claimed credit for influencing the Kennedy administration's Cuba policy. In August 1961, the ASC's National Strategy Committee had received a letter from Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Robert F. Woodward to the effect that key State Department officers reading ASC's reports recommending a cut off U.S. fuel to Cuba. It would be impossible to prove a decisive role for the America Security Council in this aspect of the destructive economic embargo against Cuba. It is more plausible to suggest that, as with other elite-based foreign affairs lobbies, the Council pressured the administration in a direction towards which it was already inclined. 
"As was characteristic of system-supportive anticommunist groups, the American Security Council functioned as an asset to the Cold War state, largely by reinforcing anticommunist ideology. By 1962 the Council boasted of the success of its 'Freedom University of the Air,' a series of sixty-five half-hour television programs hosted by former ASC Field Director W. Cleon Skousen. In 1964 former President Dwight Eisenhower, who, ironically, had warned of a 'military-industrial complex' in his farewell presidential speech, inaugurated the 'American Security Council Washington Report of the Air,' over 500 radio stations. From Munich, the CIA's Radio Free Europe broadcast this program in six European languages. By 1964 the program was added on the Mutual Broadcasting System's 535 stations, for a total number of stations greater than that of any other weekday news program. With major financial backing from Patrick Frawley's Schick Safety Razor company, the Council's anticommunist radio programs reach an estimated 35 million people."
(Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pgs. 47-50)
Apparently Ike didn't think much of his own advise
Naturally, the ASC would have an enormous influence in dragging the nation into Vietnam as well as ensuring that the Cold War as a whole would continue  to escalate throughout the 1960s.
"... the parapolitical infighting inside the Pentagon bureaucracies will prove to have been grounded in deeper political conflicts dividing the nation as a whole... such conflict had escalated in late 1963, with strident voices for a more aggressive Vietnam policy coming from the American Security Council.
"The ASC was not just the leading group lobbying for the use of air power in Vietnam. It called also for the displacement of Fidel Castro in Cuba, and for a more militant posture towards the Soviet Union."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 34)
Scott, a former diplomat and longtime English professor at UC Berkeley, speculated that the ASC likely had a strong influence on Nixon's decision to intervene in Cambodia in 1970 and may even have been consulted on the very day he made the decision to do so.
 "The importance of Cambodia to oilmen probably explains why Nixon, on the day of his decision to invade Cambodia (April 28, 1970), shared his decision with 'several private citizens [from] veterans and patriotic organizations,' two days before he notified Congress. Almost certainly one of these patriotic organizations was the American Security Council, a group representing both arms and oil interests (including Unocal) that had helped push Nixon into national prominence."
 (The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 39)

The ASC was not fortunate (at least in the short term), however, with another issue it became deeply involved with in 1970: the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT), an attempt by the US and USSR to curtail their nuclear arsenals. As can be expected, the ASC started a propaganda campaign centered around the nation's "weapons gap."
"The semi-oppositional stance of conservatives towards the Nixon administration held not only for Asia policy but also for Nixon's negotiation for the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), the first phase of which was signed with the Soviet Union in 1972. Right-wing activists opposed the SALT talks because they believed the treaty would tilt the arms race in favor of the Soviets. Not until the latter half of the Carter administration would conservatives wield strong influence in the SALT policymaking process...
"By 1970, however, the American Security Council begin a long campaign to persuade the public that SALT posed a threat to US nuclear capability...
"In 1970, the American Security Council launched Operation Alert, described as 'a massive nationwide voter education program' to alert the general public that the United States had become inferior to the Soviet Union in military strength. Operation Alert's first pamphlet on the 'weapons gap' was mailed to about two million voters and three thousand civic organizations. This phase of the campaign included ASC's placement of  full-page advertisements in over hundred newspapers and coincided with a major 'weapons gap' speech by Vice-President Spiro Agnew shortly before the mid-term Congressional elections. After the fall 1970 elections, ASC claimed credit for strengthening national security sentiment within Congress."
(Road to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pg. 121)
One of many disappointments the ASC experienced with Nixon in office
While the ASC failed to do little more than strengthen "national security sentiment within Congress" as far as SALT I was concerned it would ultimately play a key role in derailing the second SALT talks in 1979.
"... More significant for the movement's long-term trajectory, in 1978, the American Security Council expanded its Operation Alert program into the Coalition for Peace Through Strength, comprised of dozens of activist groups and hundreds of business and political leaders. The Coalition's initial objective was to prevent passage of a SALT II Treaty. In the process of waging that campaign, the coalition also rallied supporters against the growing anti-nuclear movement and against the 'Marxist threat' in Central America. While military leaders and neoconservative intellectuals in the Committee on the Present Danger targeted elite thinking on SALT, the Coalition aimed at mass audiences through the Right's well-honed use of newspaper advertisements, speaking tours, and radio appearances.
"The Coalition's most celebrated anti-SALT activity was its production of the film The SALT Syndrome, featuring interviews with prominent military leaders on U.S. vulnerability to the Soviet's nuclear arsenal. The SALT Syndrome aired on television more than 600 times in 1979 and was considered such a strong influence on public opinion that the Carter administration issued a detailed rebuttal of the film. Apart from New Right influence in Congress, by the time the SALT II treaty made its way to the Senate in 1979, numerous factors conspired to derail its ratification. These included U.S. intelligence reports of a Soviet 'combat brigade' in Cuba; the Iranian students' seizure of U.S. Embassy hostages in November, 1979; and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a few weeks later. The Coalition for Peace Through Strength could not claim sole credit for defeating SALT II, but the Coalition's successful networking set a precedent for the anticommunist movement's well-coordinated 'freedom fighter' campaigns of the 1980s."
(ibid, pgs. 137-138)
We'll get to those lobby efforts on behalf of these so-called "freedom fighters" in just a moment. Before leaving the SALT talks, I'd also like to point out the ASC (via the Coalition for Peace Through Strength)'s rallying of the Christian right against bans on nuclear weapons as well:
"As opponents of the mass movement against nuclear power and weapons, the Christian Right mobilized late in the game and without a lot of fanfare. The secular American Security Council's Coalition for Peace Through Strength... drew its evangelical members' attention to campaigns for various new weapons systems. By 1983, the nuclear 'freeze' movement reached the peak of activity, with millions of Americans demonstrating outside weapons laboratories, testing sites, and nuclear power plants. Liberal clergy led the way across much of the country, and that prompted Jerry Falwell to launch his own lonely crusade against the 'freezeniks.' Falwell used his weekly television show and Moral Majority mailing list to raise funds for pro-nuclear newspaper advertisements and to sponsor a Peace Through Strength demonstration outside Congress. Falwell also circulated a pamphlet, 'Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ' linking the two events to belief in Christian salvation in a 'pre- tribulation rapture,' followed by a final 'battle of Armageddon.' This popular version of evangelical millenarianism caused observers to wonder what President Reagan meant when he told a 1983 National Association of Evangelicals gathering that the Soviet Union was an 'evil empire.' Most evangelicals were prepared to wait for, but not hasten, fulfillment of the Book of Revelations' prophecies."
(ibid, pg. 237)
Well, its certainly comforting to know that the ASC did its part in Rapture-izing nuclear Armageddon. And be assured, this is hardly the only tie between the ASC and the Christian right, the topic of which will be briefly touched upon when I address who is behind the ASC in the next installment. But on to those "freedom fighters" for the time being.
 "Building on the momentum of its campaigns against the Carter administration's Panama Canal and SALT treaties.., in 1979 the American Security Council (ASC) formed a Congressional Task Force for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of anticommunist governments in Central America. The task force blamed Jimmy Carter for Nicaragua's overthrow a dictator Anastasio Somoza, and the Congress-members on board ASC's Task Force pledged to back remaining anticommunist forces in Central America. Two advisers to the Reagan presidential campaign, former Defense Intelligence Agency director Daniel Graham and Major General John Singlaub (USA-Ret.), led a December 1979 delegation of ASC activists to Guatemala. There they assured leaders of military death squads that 'Mr. Reagan recognizes that a good deal dirty work has to be done.' In 1980, the Reagan campaign accepted millions of dollars in contributions from Guatemalan businessman and U.S. businessman living Guatemala. In turn, Guatemalan death squad leader Mario Sandoval Alarcon was invited to dance at Reagan's 1981 inaugural ball...
 "... the American Security Council (ASC) continued its use of television documentarians to mobilize grassroots lobbying. Beginning in early 1981, ASC spent a small fortune airing Attack on the Americas, a film that juxtaposed frightening footage of Central American violence and calm interviews with foreign policy experts like Jeane Kirkpatrick and Henry Kissinger... ASC combined media activities with lobbying and fundraising for Central American paramilitary forces."
(ibid, pgs. 214-216)

The above-mentioned figure of Major General John Singlaub is one that we will be returning to time and again over the course of this series and several I have planned for the future. In addition to his membership with the ASC, Singlaub was also the head of the World Anti-Communist League (an international "lobby" group ASC has long been closely tied too) during its most militant period in the 1980s. Singlaub, a longtime asset of CIA and military intelligence, played a major role in supporting the dirty wars that unfolded throughout Central America in the 1980s.

Undoubtedly the propaganda and lobbying efforts of the ASC had an enormous influence on the national debate that unfolded since the early 1960s until the late 1980s, when the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War led to a realignment amongst elites. During that period the ASC was instrumental in the rightward shift the nation went through, climaxing with the Reagan revolution of 1980 of which they played a major part of.

However, the ASC's vile war mongering was not the most lasting influence it would have on American society. You see, besides serving as a propaganda organ of the military-industrial complex and Prussian-type military men the ASC also functioned as a massive intelligence gathering operation during its early years. In point of fact, this was its original purpose.
"Founded by a group of former Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, the Council's original mission was to provide dues-paying corporations with politically sensitive information about prospective employees. ASC was started in Chicago in 1955 by ex-FBI agent William F. Carroll as the Mid-Western Research Library; in 1956 the name was changed to the American Security Council. From the 1950s through the 1980s, the Council was headed by former FBI agent John M. Fisher who had been a national security coordinator for the Sears Roebuck department store chain. By 1958, the New York Times reported that the American Security Council had gathered files of more than one million supposedly 'subversive' U.S. citizens and that the group was collecting names of rate of 20,000 per month. In 1961, the Council claimed that one of its major functions was 'to maintain close liaisons with the legislative and executive branches of government in the armed forces.' In a promotional brochure directed at the business community, the Council noted the superiority of its own intelligence gathering over that of the FBI, which by law cannot divulge the information in its files except in a court of law or for the confidential use of another federal agency. Thus, the ASC operated as a repressive agency, on par with the FBI itself.
"Among the American Security Council's original incorporators and file collectors were several right-wing activists who had actively opposed U.S. participation in World War II. These included Sears Roebuck Chairman General Robert E. Wood and publishing magnate William Regnery, both of the America First Committee; Harry Jung of the anti-Semitic American Vigilant Intelligence Federation; and John Trevor of the pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. These former advocates of a non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy now found a mission in the American Security Council's efforts to expose American leftists and deprive them of their livelihoods."
(Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pgs. 46-47)
General Robert E. Wood, who was discussed in much greater depth in the first installment, was one of the chief figures behind the founding of the ASC
Before continuing further with the American Security Council's intelligence aspirations there are a few points that need to be made here. First, as noted in the first installment of this series, the chief architect of the American Security Council was General Robert E. Wood (as well as other individuals heavily involved in the WWII-era 'non-interventionist' movement, as noted in the above quote) and it was largely dominated by former military men, at least in the early years. There was a strong FBI presence to be sure, but longtime ASC head and former FBI agent John Fisher likely got the gig in no small part due to his work for Wood as Sears Roebuck's chief of security. The role of FBI men in the ASC will be discussed in much further depth in the next installment of this series.

Moving along, I would now like to consider two of the individuals who contributed to the ASC's intelligence apparatus in the early years and their links to the 'non-interventionist' movement. There was Harry Jung and his "superpatriot" group, the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, first and foremost. To say that Jung was quite a character would be an understatement. Of him the highly controversial 1940s-era undercover investigator Arthur Derounian, using the pseudonym John Roy Carlson, wrote:
"In Chicago, I wanted to look up Harry Augustus Jung, who was friendly with countless 'patriots.' In fact, young was no small fry. His work had been subsidized by banks, by industrialists and by rich old women scared to death by the Communist revolution 'around the corner.' Harry Augustus Jung was director of the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation represented in the East by his collaborator, Colonel Sanctuary. He styled himself the 'nation's foremost authority on subversive forces...'
"In 1933, Jung made membership in his American Vigilant Intelligence Federation secret, with secret codes and mysterious rituals. And in 1935 its organ the Vigilante had so well served the fascist cause that World Service placed it on it's on honor roll. Jung also went into the wholesale distribution of the Protocols...
"Jung's associates in those days included Peter Afansieff, a White Guard Russian, born in Petrograd in 1893, who arrived in San Francisco in 1922. With three other White Russians Afansieff worked on a new translation of the Protocols in Jung's office, and soon after became affiliated with the New York and Chicago branches of the Bund. When he assumed the alias, Prince Peter Kushubue, the doors of society opened to him and the bogus prince almost succeeded in getting a wealthy heiress to marry him...
"Together with Captain Victor de Kayville (born Livok) a wealthy a former officer in the Czarist Army who jumped ship, Afansieff helped publish The American Gentile. It was a 'patriotic, American pro-Aryan' semi-monthly published for the defense of Gentile culture and civilization. James True and Robert Edward Edmonson wrote for it and articles from World Service found their way in. The American Gentile became the filthiest Nazi-front sheet of its period in Chicago and deserve the praise which it received in World Service. In February, 1935, Jung accused Afansieff of withholding funds and the two parted company.
"In the meanwhile and with uncommon 'patriotic' versatility,Jung was 'fighting Communism' by obtaining funds from both Jewish and Christian firms. Jung solicitors told wealthy Gentiles they were combating Jewish Communism, while wealthy Jews were told that the Vigilantes were combating Communism.
"Among those seduced by Jung under the delusion that they were supporting a worthy cause (during 1931-1934) where the Rockford National Bank, First National Bank of Joliet, Illinois; International Harvester, William Wrigley, Florsheim Shoe Company, Sears Roebuck and Company and many others. The biggest sucker, however, proved to be the aged Mrs. Finley J. Shepherd, daughter of the late Jay Gould, who gave away millions. Scared out of her wits at the 'coming Communist revolution,' she was shaken down for $5000 by Jung and his cronies. Jung was the first Park Avenue 'patriot' to go after the big money boys, first to sell the Protocols and first to share offices with an Illinois Klan leader, Gale S. Carter, who was number 37 in Jung super-secret membership list.
"In addition to these samples of 'patriotism,' Jung had another profitable pastime. He maintained a labor spy and straight breaking establishment and kept extensive files of persons and organizations he considered 'radical.' Jung sold this 'confidential information for high fees. The late Speaker of the House, Henry T. Rainey, summed up his exploits in a letter he wrote Jung:
My files showed that you are a sort of detective, worming your way into the homes of the most trusted members of labor organizations obtaining information with which to combat the efforts of labor organizations to better their conditions, and that you obtain this information for the purpose of assisting 'strikebreakers.'
The data I have show that you foment strikes in the districts where there is no union and then settle the strike for a price. The information I have with reference to you is that you are the man who does the slimy, stool pigeon work necessary for the purpose of destroying organized labor wherever it has contractual relations with employers...
"Jung had changed his tactics in recent years. He now spent lavishly to bury his past and put on the cloak of respectability. He became a specialist on 'Americanism' and graduated to lecturing before the Chicago Athlete Association and the Racquet Club. He was befriended by Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and had his office in room 2212 of the Tribune Tower, dubbed the 'Devil's Tower.'"
(Under Cover, John Roy Carlson, pgs. 390-393)
Mr. Harry Augustus Jung, brownshirt extraordinaire
As noted in the first installment of this series, Chicago Tribune publisher Colonel Robert R. McCormick had also likely been involved in the founding of the American Security Council. He was apparently Jung's longtime patron and it would seem likely that the ASC drew no small amount of inspiration from Jung's work with the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation. Jung died roughly around the time that the ASC was found but his massive amount of files were turned over to the Council. According to former FBI agent William Turner in the gem Power on the Right these files included some one million names.

Naturally Colonel Robert McCormick was also involved in the pre-WWII "non-interventionist" movement
But as disturbing as Jung and his intelligence network may be, it is easily rivaled by another notorious "non-interventionist," John Trevor Sr. and his American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. Prior to these endeavors Trevor, like Colonel Robert R. McCormack and many other individuals we shall meet over the course of this series and related ones, was a member of military intelligence.
"... a Harvard-educated lawyer and industrialist descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence and, like his close friend Madison Grant, a member of New York's social elite, had served as an officer of military intelligence just after World War I, a role in which he 'made his own rules, gave himself his own assignments,' according to a colleague at the time. For example, Trevor Sr. developed a plan to suppress a mass uprising of Jewish subversives in New York City, going so far as the order 6,000 rifles and a machine gun battalion for deployment in Jewish neighborhoods in anticipation of a disturbance that never took place. Keeping secret ties to military intelligence even after his return to civilian life, the elder Trevor became, according to one historian, 'one of the most influential unelected individuals affiliated with the U.S. Congress,' testifying in the hearings that led to the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924 and crafting its plan to designate national quotas for each country based on the number of its residence in the United States in 1890, before the bulk of the immigration from southern and eastern Europe. To defend the quotas, in 1929 Trevor founded the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies, which quickly became an unparalleled organization for numerous far-right groups; later named as the collation's 'honorary president' was C. M. Goethe, a president of the ERA who strongly recommended the 'marvelous eugenics program of Hitler's as a model that the United States must adopt if it were to have any chance of becoming 'Germany's successful rival.'
"... Also before the war Trevor, as head of the American Coalition, collaborated on a number of projects designated to distribute Nazi propaganda, and in 1942, according to investigative journalist Adam Miller, the collation 'was named in a U.S. Justice Department Sedition Indictment for pro-Nazi activities.' In a particular irony, Trevor and the coalition... were investigated by military intelligence."
(The Funding of Scientific Racism, William Tucker, pgs. 60-61) 
Trevor was also greatly involved in "immigration reform"
Naturally military intelligence found nothing on Trevor, enabling him to continue his valuable work. In fairness to Trevor, it should be noted that his supporters have long denied the allegations of Nazi collaboration and his plot to put down Jewish subversives with some 6,000 rifles. On the flip side of the coin, however, his son, John Trevor Jr., has been deeply involved with eugenics-based projects for years, most notably the notorious Pioneer Fund, of which he was a secretary for.

And these are the "non-interventionists" – General Robert E. Wood, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, Harry Augustus Jung and Captain John Trevor – who lent  "inspiration" to the American Security Council in the early years.

To be sure, there were more overworld elements that contributed to the ASC's intelligence efforts, but they were no less dubious. Lee Pennington of the American Legion, for instance, would also contribute his massive collection of files to the ASC.
"During World War II the Legion build up a network of confidential information contacts, on the model of the so-called vigilantes of the American Protectively Agency during World War I. The key man in this effort, an FBI agent named Lee Pennington, Jr., left the Bureau for the Legion in 1953, where he began to develop a massive 'library' of information on alleged subversives. Future Watergate burglar James McCord, in search for subversives in the CIA, made his first contacts in the 1950s with Pennington, his library, and Lou Russell of HUAC.
 "Pennington thus became a CIA consultant, a status which continued when he transferred his by-now massive files on Americans from the American Legion to the newly formed American Security Council. However, the principal users of his library were large corporations, including defense contractors such as the large oil companies, who consulted the file-card index when screening employees as part of their industrial-security program."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 244-245)
Unsurprisingly, there was also some overlap between the American Security Council and the notorious private security, Wackenhut. Wackenhut, now G4S Secure Solutions, was known to have files on millions of Americans for years.
"Wackenhut is a private detective agency founded in 1954 by former FBI man George Wackenhut and three ex-FBI friends in Miami, a hotbed of rightist political activity at the time. George Wackenhut had important political connections – Florida Governor Claude Kirk and Senator George Smathers among them – and shared a predilection with J. Edgar Hoover for acquiring files on people. His connections help build his agency into a powerful private police force with huge government contracts. Senator Smathers' law firm hired guards from the Wackenhut subsidiary to work nuclear bomb test sites in Nevada and Cape Canaveral, a workaround to the federal law forbidding private detective agencies working for the government. George Wackenhut's preoccupation with compiling files made the agency an extraordinary intelligence resources well. Investigator John Connolly noted that 'By 1965, Wackenhut was boasting to potential investors that the company maintained files on two and a half million suspected dissidents – one in forty-six American adults then living. In 1966, after acquiring the private files of Karl Barslaag, a former staff member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Wackenhut could confidentially maintain that with more than four million names, it had the largest privately held file on suspected dissidents in America.'"
(The Octopus, Kenn Thomas & Jim Keith, pgs. 32-33) 

The Institute for the Study of  Globalization and Covert Politics (ISGP) alleges the following ties between ASC and Wackenhut in their highly compelling account of the Council:
"The controversial detective and private security firm Wackenhut, ran by an extreme right Christian Scientist, occasionally made use of the files of the Church League. [19] Wackenhut also had its own database of suspects in the 1960s and 1970s, largely based on several unspecified libraries the company bought. George Wackenhut himself estimated that the library "got up to about three million" individual names [20]. To what extent these names overlapped with the databases of the Church League and the ASC hasn't been investigated, but it is likely to have been considerable as Wackenhut was represented on the national strategy committee of the ASC for several decades. A 1968 list - to pick one - reveals that two of the three co-chairmen of the committee at that point were Wackenhut directors: General Bernhard A. Schriever and Lloyd Wright."
I have been able to confirm that one of the above-mentioned individuals, General Bernard A. Schriever, was in fact a member of both Wackenhut and the ASC at the same time. However, information on this relationship as a whole remain scarce beyond what was reported on ISGP.

General Bernard A. Schriever, later of the ASC and Wackenhut
By the early 1970s the ASC had compiled a massive library on "subversives."
"At present the dossier system consists of, in the ASC's words, 'seven major files and libraries on communism and statism' as well as 'the largest private collection on revolutionary activities in America.' The index alone consists of over six million cards. Although the ASC shuns the implications that it is running a blacklist service, and denies it keeps tabs on individuals as such, it nonetheless has indexed and collected the names and activities of over a million persons and organizations fitting its standards of dubious loyalty. In 1970 the ASC announced that it had 'handled over 195,000 research requests from members, government agencies, congressional committees, and news media...'
"The dossier service is available to the ASC's thirty-five hundred member firms and organizations who pay dues that may run well over a thousand dollars a year apiece, depending on the number of employees..."
(Power on the Right, William Turner, pgs. 202-203)

The ASC allegedly gave up on the private intelligence racket at some point in the 1970s and yet more than a few individuals with ties to the ASC would end up working in other private intelligence organizations in the 1980s, some of which with direct ties to the so-called "patriot movement."

The effects of the intelligence efforts of groups like the ASC and other such organizations on the American worker is difficult to gauge but likely significant. Many researchers believe that the ASC did in fact engage in blacklisting. What's more, the bulk of the customers for their files were reportedly corporations and not the government (though the ASC was deeply involved with the US intelligence community). Effectively, this means the clientele of ASC was not simply scrutinizing the backgrounds of perspective employees, but also researching their political beliefs. And as the above should illustrate, many of the organizations that provided intelligence to the ASC effectively believed that liberalism in general was a subversive political belief. The ASC insisted that its major concern was whether or not an individual supported the "free enterprise system."
"What constitutes a left-winger for the ASC? Only the vaguest of guidelines have emerged from the statements of President Fisher. In 1960, in filing for tax-exempt status (it was denied), he explained one purpose of the ASC: 'To promote the common business interests of American business organizations in defending themselves amongst those activities of Communists and other subversive organizations which are directed against the business operations of American business organizations.' The idea was more succinctly put in a later pamphlet: 'Interest for or against the free enterprise system – that's the thing that starts our interest. If the situation is in line with the current Communist Party line, then it becomes of interest to us.' Seemingly this would embrace advocacy of progressive social and labor legislation, and an end to racism and the Vietnam War."
(ibid, pgs. 201-202) 

What's more, it seemingly had no qualms about using highly dubious "superpatriot" organization as sources of intelligence. More than a few affiliates of the John Birch Society and even the Liberty Lobby would also serve with the American Security Council while former FBI agent William Turner even alleges that the 1960s paramilitary outfit the Minutemen was used as an intelligence source by the ASC (ibid, pg. 201). This is hardly surprising as a reoccurring theme amongst various "superpatriot" outfits is the appearance of some type of intelligence network and/or an "enemies list" and over the years various intelligence apparatuses (both within the government and the private sector) have found them to be highly effective in this capacity. Indeed, this relationship has existed for decades.

And it is here that I shall wrap things up for now. In the next installment I shall began to examine the forces behind the ASC as well as the bizarre origins of the relationship between the American intelligence community and "superpatriot" groups. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fear and Loathing in the American Security Council Part I

Regular readers of this blog have likely picked up on my growing interest in the re-emerge of international fascism throughout the second half of the twentieth century. This arcane topic, riddled with disinformation and the fever dreams of the conspiratorial right, is a subject that has consumed a good chunk of my spare time over the past year. In the process I have acquired a treasure trove of fascinating and sometimes obscure events that have unfolded across the twentieth century and beyond.

I've been chomping at the bit for months to begin presenting some of this information but one of the most daunting aspects of this project is finding a place to start. After all, the re-emerge of fascism in the later half of the twentieth century did not happen in a vacuum and was in fact directly linked to events and personalities stretching back to the dawn of fascism in the wake of the First World War, the emerge of fascism as a political power in the 1920s, and of course the Second World War.

Mussolini circa WWI
After much debate I resolved to focus in on the American Security Council (ASC) as the first of what will be several series examining the re-emerge of fascism and its links to the modern conspiratorial right during the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The ASC is a compelling starting point for several reasons: it had direct links to the pre-WWII fascist right; to international fascist organizations such as the World Anti-Communist League; to the US intelligence community; and to the conspiratorial right itself. The rise of the ASC was also closely linked to a power shift within the American Establishment in the wake of World War II, a topic that I shall briefly discuss now.

From roughly the end of the American Civil War until the early 1960s the American power structure was dominated (but not totally controlled) by what is commonly referred to as the Eastern Establishment, the long time bugaboo of the conspiratorial right. Initially this group was largely centered around the Northeast, especially in New England and the Tri-state area, but now has a strong presence along the West Coast as well. Thus, Eastern Establishment is a bit outdated as this faction is no longer confined to the old Blue Blood stomping grounds but for our purposes here it is a covenant designation.

While some families from this network made their fortunes in heavy industry banking and international commerce has long been their chief financial concern. But despite their interests often being global in nature this group is also deeply Euro-centric (except for possibly the French) and at times fanatically Anglophilic. Indeed, this group (largely comprised of old-moneyed American families such as the Morgans, Whitneys, Astors, Mellons, etc) has maintained close ties with their European counterparts, both through business as well as marriages, for well over a century.

J.P. Morgan (top), Andrew Mellon (middle), and the Lord and Lady Astor (bottom), who closely linked to the American Establishment

Beginning in the very late nineteenth century this group became deeply involved with a chain of NPOs and think tanks that were used as propaganda organs to influence intellectuals, policymakers and the general public at large towards the ends of this faction. Easily the most notorious of these think tanks was the so-called Round Table Group. Georgetown professor and Rhodes Scholar Carroll Quigley was the first individual to give the public an insider's look at the mechanisms of the Round Table Group with his 1966 classic Tragedy and Hope, a book long held up by the conspiratorial right as the smoking gun for the communist conspiracy. This notion is of course absurd and only gained currency through selective quoting of Quigley's long out-of-print tome, but it did reveal some very interesting things about the nation's (as well as the international) power structure, especially concerning the role think tanks and other NPOs play in maintaining it.
"Quigley studied the operations of the Round Table first hand for twenty years and for two years during the early 1960s was permitted access to its papers and secret records. He objects to a few of its policies... but says his chief complain about the Round Table is its secrecy, a secrecy which he comes forward to break. 'The American branch of this organization, sometimes called the "Eastern establishment," has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation,' he writes, 'and I believe it's role in history is significant enough to be known.'
"The Round Table Groups, by Quigley's detailed report, are semicovert policy and action groups formed at the turn of the first decade of this century on the initiatives of the Rhodes Trust and its dominant trustee of the 1905-1925 period, Lord Milner. Their original political aim was federation of the English-speaking world along the lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes.
"By 1915, Round Table Groups were functioning in England and in six outposts of the Empire --South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and the United States...
"The organization was originally financed by the associates and followers of Cecil Rhodes, chiefly from the Rhodes rust itself, but since 1925, according to Quigley, substantial contributions come from wealthy individuals, foundations, and firms associated with the international banking fraternity, especially the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and other organizations associated with J. P. Morgan, the Rockefeller and Whitney families, and the associates of Lazard Brothers and of Morgan, Grenfell, and Company. The chief link-up in this organization was once that of the Morgan Bank in New York to a group of international financiers in London led by Lazard Brothers, but at the end of the war of 1914, the organization was greatly extended. In England and in each dominion a group was set up to function as a cover for the existing local Round Table Group.
"In London, this front was the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which had as its secret nucleus the existing Round Table group. The New York group was the Council on foreign relations. The Morgan men who dominated the CFR went to the Paris peace conference and there became close to a similar group of English experts recruited by Milner. Thus there grew up 'a power structure' linking London and New York banks and deeply penetrating 'university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.'
"The founding aims of this elaborate, semisecret organization were 'to coordinate the international activities and outlooks of all the English-speaking world into one... to work to maintain peace; to help backward, colonial, and underdeveloped areas to advance toward stability, law, and order and prosperity, along lines somehow similar to those taught at Oxford and the University of London...' These aims were pursued by 'gracious and culture gentlemen of somewhat limited social experience... If their failures now loom larger than their successes, this should not be allowed to conceal the high motives in which they attempted both.'
"Quigley calls this relationship between London and New York financial circles 'one of the most powerful influences in twentieth-century America and world history. The two ends of this English-speaking axis have sometimes been called, perhaps facetiously, the English and American Establishments. There is, however, a considerable degree of truth behind the joke, a truth which reflects a very real power structure. It is this power structure which the Radical Right in the United States has been attacking for years in the belief that they are attacking the Communists.'"
(The Yankee and Cowboy War, Carl Oglesby, pgs. 23-25)
Quigley and his highly controversial work
The Eastern Establishment did in fact provide financial backing to the progressive movement and even some communists in the United States since the early twentieth century but this was hardly done out of some deep-seated socialistic impulse.
"More than fifty years ago the Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy, dominate, or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so they could 'blow off steam,' and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went 'radical.' There was nothing really new about this decision, since other financiers had talked about it and even attempted it earlier. What made it decisively important this time was the combination of its adoption by the dominant Wall Street financier, at a time when tax policy was driving all financiers to seek tax-exempt refuge for their fortunes, and at a time when the ultimate in Left-wing radicalism was about to appear under the banner of the Third International."
(Tragedy and Hope, Carroll Quigley, pg. 938)

The conspiratorial right has long alleged that Wall Street bankers financed the Bolshevik revolution in Russia that led to the formation of the Soviet Union and there is indeed compelling evidence that Lenin and Trotsky had such support. But this was almost surely done for the same reason that Morgan and other Wall Street bankers backed the American progressive movement: to hedge their bets and maintain some degree of control over it. But whatever aspirations the Eastern Establishment had for the Soviet Union seems to have been thoroughly dashed by the 1930s: Lenin was dead, Trotsky was exiled, and while some intellectuals may still have carried a torch for Stalinism Wall Street was thoroughly disillusioned and more than a little weary. But I digress.

While the Eastern Establishment was the dominate power in America politics until the 1960s it was not the only one. Indeed, even before World War II another faction was beginning to emerge to challenge the Eastern Establishment. Various factors led to the state of affairs.

The rise of organized crime, especially the billion dollar international drug trade, played a significant role but such a topic is beyond the scope of this series. The role drug trafficking played in the fascist counterrevolution that unfolded in the second half the twentieth century will be examined when I address the World Anti-Communist League in a future series. For now let us briefly consider two other factors:

One was the emergence of oil as a cornerstone in modern life. This process had been well on the way before the onset of World War II but by the end of the 1940s oil had surpassed coal as the dominant energy source in the United States, and soon the rest of the world. Old moneyed families such as the Rockefellers and Mellons had long been involved in the oil industry but the colossal domestic oil boom that began with the discovery of the enormous East Texas oil fields in the 1930s and the offshore Gulf of Mexico finds in the 1960s and 70s created a junior wing of the oil cartel, based out of Texas, that is generally been more rightward leaning then its Eastern Establishment predecessors.

H.L. Hunt, whose family has bankrolled far right causes for decades
An even more important development, however, was the rise of what is generally referred to as the military-industrial complex. This had a profound change both in the economic as well as political dynamics of the United States. From an economic standpoint it was instrumental in modernizing large portions of the American South and West.
"...the economic impact...  nowhere greater than in the Southern Rim. This is a region that was transformed, and brought into modernity, by World War II, when the defense establishment moved in to take advantage of its benign climate, vast open spaces, extensive and for the most part protected coastline, abundant and cheap labor, and nascent shipping and aircraft industries, altogether pumping in an estimated 60 percent of its $74 billion wartime expenditures into these fifteen states. And as the defense installations and contractors continued to grow with growing defense budgets even after the war --$13 billion in 1950, $50 billion in 1960 --they continued to build up the substructure of the whole economy, in practically every state from North Carolina to California. Indeed, if anyone industry can be said to be the backbone of the Southern Rim, it is defense."
(Power Shift, Kirkpatrick Sale, pgs. 24-25)

While more than a few of the old moneyed Eastern families (i.e. the Whitneys and the Du Ponts) were deeply involved in the defense industry the rise of it profoundly affected the priorities of the American overworld. Whereas previously financial interests had chiefly dominated the American political landscape now oil and defense would become increasingly prevalent.
"The overworld was clearly centered in Wall Street in the 1940s, and CIA was primarily designed there. With the postwar shifts of U.S. demographics and economic structure southward and westward, the overworld itself has shifted, becoming less defined by geography than by the interrelated functions of the petroleum-industrial-financial complex. Cheney's global oilfield services firm Halliburton, today 'a bridge between the oil industry and the military-industrial complex,' was nowhere near the Wall Street power center in the 1940s. This shift in the overworld led by 1968 to a polarizing debate over the Vietnam War. The expanding military-industrial complex, dedicated to winning that war at any cost, found itself increasingly opposed by elements on Wall Street ... who feared the impact of the war's cost on the stability of the dollar."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 6)

For years the Eastern Establishment had promoted its policy agendas through elaborate propaganda campaigns directed at academia and policymakers as well as the general public via various think tanks, most notably the above-mentioned Council on Foreign Relations. By the 1950s the defense industry in conjunction with several oil barons and various far right military and FBI men would create something similar to the Council on Foreign Relations for their own propaganda purposes, among other things.
"Soon what Eisenhower would label the 'military-industrial complex' was asserting itself through new lobbying groups, notably the American Security Council (ASC), founded in 1955. The ASC united old-wealth oil and military corporations with new-wealth businesses in the South and the West, some of which incorporated investments from organized crime."
(ibid, pg. 18)
The ASC was dreamed up by two veteran activists of the far right who had been active in the movement since before the onset of WWII.
"The Joseph McCarthy virulence and the cold war were both at their peak when the ASC began as the Mid-American Research Library. The impetus was provided by the late General Robert E. Wood, then board chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Co. Along with the cantankerous Colonel Robert R. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune ('the world's greatest newspaper,' the colonel used to trumpet, and its radio station's call letters are still WGN), Wood had been a prime mover in the isolationist America First Committee and a prime adversary of the trade union movement. With the growing preoccupation of industry with 'security,' the establishment of a private body that would provide corporations with a blacklist service and loyalty review board was almost inevitable."
(Power of the Right, William Turner, pgs. 199-200)

General Robert E. Wood (top) and Colonel Robert R. McCormick (bottom), who briefly served in military intelligence during WWI
While the ASC's "blacklist service" is infinitely fascinating I shall not get around to addressing it until the next installment. For now, I would like to focus on the ASC's origins and to do this topic justice it warrants addressing the America First Committee briefly. As we shall see, General Wood and Colonel McCormick were not the only links the ASC had to the America First Committee.

The America First Committee has been greatly romanticized in recent years, especially by the so-called "paleoconservative" movement who see it is the crowning instance of pacifism by the Old Right, but the reality is far less benign. While the bulk of the members were likely genuine anti-war activists who did not want to see another generation of Americans torn to ribbons by modern weaponry in a European war there were more than a few hardcore fascist sympathizers (as well as Nazi intelligence assets) within the Committee. This state of affairs was first exposed by the highly controversial investigator Arthur Derounian (who frequently wrote under the pen name of John Roy Carlson) in his 1943 bestseller Under Cover, a book that, to this day, still draws the ire of the far right. Derounian describes the origins and the fascist ties of the Committee as thus:
"True, it's leadership at first was as American as Plymouth Rock. But the rank-and-file following –first sincere and respectable –was later polluted by the Pelleys, Coughlins, McWilliamses; the Vierecks, Kuhns and Deatherages; by Klansman; by Japanese and Nazi agents. And it's weak-kneed leadership, cowed and bullied by stories of Nazi might, swayed by a Chamberlain sentimentality and Pollyanna smugness, took craving comfort in the delusion that they were defending America. The surrender of a mighty nation and appeasement of Hitler might easily have been the outcome if the designs of its two most publicized spokesmen have been carried through.
"Its national Chairman, General Robert E. Wood, told Kenneth Crawford a reporter for PM, a New York newspaper, that in the event of an invasion of South America by a Nazi armada, he would defend our Latin Allies 'only the part as far south as the bulge of Brazil.' Without firing a shot in self-defense, the general indicated his willingness to let Hitler seize more than half of South America, plant his legions firmly on the Western Hemisphere and place the Panama Canal at  the mercy of the Luftwaffe...
"... Faith in Hitler but an unreasoning lack of faith in the Administration – these were the cornerstones of the Committee's policy of appeasement and defeatism which corroded our democratic fiber. It delighted Nazi commentators, who crooned from Berlin: 'The American First Committee is known as true Americanism and true patriotism, as opposed to the synthetic brand.'
"'Patriotic' meetings of the Mobilizers and the Bund fell down in attendance, while most of the other fascistic groups were suspended altogether as members flocked to America First rallies. Whenever I wanted information for my 'friends' I had to go either to America First meetings or the A. F. C. Headquarters to find them.
"The Committee's backers for the most part were sincere and well-meaning prototypes of those who had backed Hitler in Germany – a small clique of industrialist, businessmen and army officers. Ernest T. Weir of National Steel Corporation contributed heavily. Thomas N. McCarter, a former chairman of the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, was  another heavy donor. H. L. Stuart, president of a leading investment house in the Midwest, was a financial supporter, and so was Sterling Morton, President of the Illinois Manufacturers Association.
"The wealthy meat-packer, Jay C. Hormel, gave liberally, as did Mrs. Janet Ayer Fairbanks; Max Wellington Babb, president of Allis- Chalmers; General Wood and General Thomas Hammond. Colonel Robert R. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune and Joseph M. Patterson, publisher of the New York Daily News supported the America First Committee, and there were reports that Henry Ford contributed $300,000 to initiate the work.
"The idea for the Committee was conceived in the spring of 1940 – in the mind of a blond, while the twenty-four-year-old Yale student, R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., son of the first vice-president of the Quaker Oats Co. Stuart got twenty of his classmates to join. The romantic story released by the Committee went on to say that young Douglas attracted the attention of Chester Bowles, of Benton and Bowles, Inc., well-known New York advertising agents.
"From nowhere staid William R. Castle joined the blond youth. Then to Stuart's growing circle of influential friends came Philip Lafollette, former Progressive Party governor of Wisconsin, and was quickly followed by Senator Burton K. Wheeler, General Wood (who was board chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Co.), Henry Ford and Robert Bliss of J. Walter Thompson, advertising agents. Experts in promotion, organization and public relations gathered around young Stuart.
"With Douglas and his Yale friends serving as front, Charles Lindbergh addressed a meeting at Woolsey Hall. This made the headlines even though Limburg, like Neville Chamberlain, propagated Hitler's ideas by saying: 'In order to dominate the Far Eastern situation we must make our peace with the new powers in Europe.' After the Lindbergh speech, General Wood took charge and set to organizing the Committee on a broad, nation-wide basis."
(Under Cover, Arthur Derounian, pgs. 242-245)

To some extent the American First Committee was the American Security Council of its day in that it presented the respectable, overworld elements of the far-right – i.e. people like General Wood, Colonel McCormick, Charles Lindbergh, etc., as opposed to the uncouth factions such the German-American Bund and Silver Shirts (though it maintained relations with such groups). But there were many genuine pacifists who were attracted to the A.F.C. while the fascist isolationists of the 1930s were only pacifistic as far as the Axis powers were concerned. At this point they by and large already believed that some type of holy war against communism was inevitable. And be assured, their ties to Nazi Germany were more than circumstantial.
"J. Edgar Hoover discovered a range of Nazi associations in America First. In December 1940, Manfred Zapp was known to be in touch with America First. On January 16, 1941, the FBI reported that the car belonging to Dr. George Gyssling, a Nazi council in Los Angeles, was seen parked outside the local office of the Committee.
"On April 22, 1941, the Philadelphia Ledger announced that a local American Firster, Mrs. Edith Scott, was inviting women associated with a Nazi organization into the membership. Newspaper distribution tycoon  John B. Snow also distributed America First pamphlets. The American Legion exposed America First as being involved in subversive propaganda distributing leaflets via bookstores.
"The Swedish tycoon Axel Wenner-Gran... gave financial backing to America First. He was pro-Nazi and a supporter of a negotiated peace.
"The Nazi publication Free American encouraged readers to enroll with America First. The German-American National Alliance, of Chicago, circulated Nazi propaganda appealing for contributions to America First. The FBI obtained copies of checks drawn by former or present Bund members for America First.
"On June 16, 1941, Senator Wheeler and Congressman Hamilton Fish were reported by the FBI to be using the same mailing-list stencils used by the Bund.
"On July 30, the FBI discovered that America First had formed a special unit for the investigation of Communists under the direction of the White Russian Nazi collaborator George Wrangell. Former Bund members also worked voluntarily with Wrangell to urge the parents of draftees and enlistees to fight the national defense program.
"In September, FBI men questioned the arrested Nazi agent Friedrich Auhagen in his prison cell. Auhagen said that America First was an agency of the German Government, designed to distribute its political material. Hoover concurred with this conclusion.
(American Swastika, Charles Higham, pgs. 14-15)

Amusingly, one of the first major America First Committee rallies was a speaking engagement before the Chicago branch of the Council on Foreign Relations. Naturally General Wood gave the keynote address.
"The keynote speech of America First was delivered by acting chairman General Robert E. Wood on October 4, 1940, before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. General Wood contended that authoritarian states cannot be destroyed by war and that a German-dominated Europe would not destroy our foreign trade. Intervention in the war must be avoided at all costs. General Wood was chairman of Sears Roebuck, whose president, Donald Nelson, was head of the War Production Board. The next in line at the War Production Board was William L. Batt, partner in Philadelphia with Hugo von Rosen, cousin of Field Marshal Goring in the SKF ball bearing company, which supplied Nazi-related companies in South America throughout World War II."
(ibid, pg. 13)
The Council was a far more natural alley for the far right in America than the conspiratorial right would have you believe. You see, the British counterparts of the CFR –the Round Table/Rhodes-Milner group – had also been staunchly isolationist concerning Germany for much of the 1930s as well. Much like General Wood, they believed a strong Germany that dominated mainland Europe was in their best interest.
"Any analysis of the motivations of Britain in 1938-1939 is bound to be difficult because different people had different motives, motives changed in the course of time, the motives of the government were clearly not the same as the motives of people, and in no country has secrecy and anonymity been carried so far or been so well preserved as in Britain. In general, motives become vaguer and less secret as we move our attention from the innermost circles of the government outward. As if we were looking at the layers of an onion, we may discern four points of view: (1) the anti-Bolsheviks at the center, (2) the 'three-bloc-world' supporters close to the center, (3) the supporters of 'appeasement,' and (4) the 'peace at any price' group in a peripheral position. The 'anti-Bolsheviks,' who are also anti-French, were extremely important from 1919 to 1926, but then decreased to little more than a lunatic fringe, rising again in numbers and influence after 1934 to dominate the real policy of the government in 1939. In the earlier period the chief figures in this group were Lord Curzon, Lord D'Abernon and General Smuts. They did what they could to destroy reparations, permanent German rearmament, and tear down what they called 'French militarism.'
"This point of view was supported by the second group, which was known in those days as the Round Table Group, and came later to be called, somewhat inaccurately, the Cliveden Set, after the country estate of Lord and Lady Astor. It included Lord Milner, Leopold Amery, and Edward Grigg ( Lord Altrincham), as well as Lord  Lothian, Smuts, Lord Astor, Lord Brand (brother-in-law of Lady Astor and managing director of Lazard Brothers, the international bankers), Lionel Curtis, Geoffrey Dawson... and their associates... The Round Table Group formed the core of the three-bloc-world supporters, and differed from the anti-Bolsheviks like D'Abernon in that they sought to contain the Soviet Union between a German-dominated Europe and an English-speaking bloc rather than to destroy it as the anti-Bolsheviks wanted. Relations between the two groups were very close and friendly, and some people, like Smuts, were in both...
"The more moderate Round Table Group... sought to weaken the League of Nations and destroy all possibility of collective security in order to strengthen Germany in respect to both France and the Soviet Union, and above all to free Britain from Europe in order to build up an 'Atlantic bloc' of Great Britain, the British Dominions, and the United States. They prepared the way for this 'Union' through the Rhodes Scholarship organization..., through the Round Table groups..., through the Chatham House organization, which set up Royal Institute of International Affairs in all the dominions and a Council on Foreign Relations in New York, as well as through 'Unofficial Commonwealth Relations Conferences' held irregularly, and the Institute of Pacific Relations set up in various countries as autonomous branches of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. This influential group sought to change the League of Nations from an instrument of collective security to an international conference center for 'nonpolitical' matters like drug control or international postal services, to rebuild Germany as a buffer against the Soviet Union and a counterpoise to France, and to build up an Atlantic bloc of Britain, the Dominions, the United States, and, if possible, the Scandinavian countries."
(Tragedy and Hope, Carroll Quigley, pgs. 580-582)
Cliveden, the estate that inspired the name of the far right branch of the Rhodes-Milner group
There's a lot to take in here. For one, I hope this illustrates just how fanatical the "Cliveden set" was about establishing Nazi Germany as a major power on mainland Europe (Quigley blames the break between Britain and Germany on the Nazi regime's inability to understand democracy and the British public for not realizing how "reasonable" the German military and civil service could be). What's more, the Cliveden set's desire for a mainland Europe-dominated Germany as a barrier between Britain and Russia has largely come to pass under the EU. The Atlantic Union has proven to be more problematic but has never been entirely abandoned as an agenda.

Another point that bears being made from the above citation is the group's attitude toward the League of Nations, the predecessor organization to the United Nations. As Quigley makes clear, the Cliveden set was chiefly responsible for declawing the League and ensuring it could not be an effective security apparatus. The same has seemingly been done to the United Nations. This strongly indicates that the Cliveden set's interest in these global bodies is primarily centered around "nonpolitical" issues (i.e. economic matters such as international trade, loans, settlements, etc). The UN was merely a stepping stone to the real endgame: International bureaucracies such as the IMF and World Bank that could implement the policies of multinational corporations without being beholden to the general public. World government was probably never even given serious consideration.

the real "New World Order," which we are already living in
And finally, the split between the 'anti-Bolsheviks' and the Cliveden set was repeated in the United States between the Eastern Establishment and the Radical Right in the wake of World War II (but was clearly beginning to emerge even before then). The root of this split was essentially how to deal with the Soviet Union and the spread of communism. The Cliveden set and their American counterparts wanted to contain it and gradually subvert it through diplomacy. The fanatical anti-communists had no interest in containing communism --They perceived it as the greatest personification of evil humanity had ever been confronted with and as such, believed that nothing short of total eradication of it was to soft an approach. This split, with the threat of nuclear war always looming in the background, would plague the American Establishment for decades.

While the bulk of the Eastern Establishment had supported Nazi Germany before hostilities with Britain broke out they largely felt duty bound to support the mother country once the war began. But there were clearly those within the Establishment, especially Henry Ford, who were weary of throwing in with the British and especially their allies, the Soviet Union. They would continue to openly support Germany all the way up to the time of Pearl Harbor and never totally gave up hopes of reaching a peace with the Nazi regime. This factor combined with the deep-seeded loathing many in the Eastern Establishment felt toward the New Deal would lead to a collapse of the unified consensus that dominated the American power structure prior to FDR and WWII. The rise of the military-industrial complex and the new rich from the Southern Rim would further exasperate this split.

But nothing crystallized this new faction quite like the military men who would come to dominate it. Of course, military officers have always been looked fondly upon by the American public and several of the nation's most revered presidents (including Washington and Jackson) had been generals before becoming assuming the nation's highest office. But as American business became increasingly international in the post-Civil War era the importance of the military grew in proportion and a firm relationship between the service and industry emerged.

The rise of the military-industrial complex at the end of WWII would make military men especially valuable to corporate America because of their contacts within the military establishment. Thus, the pipeline between the DoD and corporate America would become one of the fastest tracks to success in the modern era. And while the military-industrial complex found these officers of great use they also were some what weary of them.

Many of the military men who served between the period before the First World War and the end of Korea (and to some extent, even up till Kennedy) tended to be fanatically right wing, a state of affairs the military itself contributed to. As a whole, there was a Prussian-ization of military officers in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, especially during the 1930s. But beyond the indoctrination more than a few of these officers would became enamored with fascist military dictatorships such as Franco's Spain and Chiang Kai-shek's Taiwan (of which some would forge close ties with).

This state of affairs proved to be especially unnerving to the American Establishment. While the financial and defense interests had somewhat different economics goals they were still business men. But the military men they would become increasingly dependent upon were true believers. Thus, this conflict may be best described as the Eastern Establishment versus the Prussians. The military-industrial complex certainly benefited from this conflict but many of these companies offered only tentative financial support to the ASC and like groups. The bulk of the funding came from other true believers in the business community such as the Hunt family and men like Patrick J. Frawley in addition to criminal elements (i.e. the notorious China Lobby, which remained a major political force in this country for decades in no small part due to drug money).

Much of the second half of the twentieth century witnessed a subtle war being played out between the Eastern Establishment and the Prussians (with some support from oil barons and the military-industrial complex) for control of the American political machine. The front groups for this struggle were the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Security Council, respectively. In the next installment we shall examine the composition of the ASC (especially several of the noteworthy military men) and the tactics it used in this conflict. Stay tuned.