Wednesday 17 March 2004

Vietnam, Madrid, & The Reversal Of War Policy

by Sherman H. Skolnick

Suppose you put your ear to the ground and heard something a-coming, from afar off. Would that foresight make you rich and famous? Depending on the historic era, you might get widely heckled, if not condemned, by your countrymen. Why? Because opposing the common wisdom of the times can be greatly misunderstood.

It was 1967 and the Viet Nam conflict was approaching full boil. In the Spring of that year was a sensational series of articles, principally in the New York Times. Other publications and media outlets pretty much ignored it. Documents were uncovered showing the American CIA was widely controlling various supposedly dissident and other domestic groups.

The CIA funds were funneled through three layers, technically described as conduits, pass-throughs, and fronts. [Well equipped public Libraries have a set of volumes, called New York Time Index, summarizing articles, year by year. If the Library still have the one for 1967, you can review a summary of the CIA items listing many of the Foundations implicated.]

Much later, Kennedy Administration left-over U.S. Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, was privately accused of causing these disclosures. Some later claimed it let to his political assassination in 1968, blamed, as usual, on a "lone assassin".

Sensing a break-through, we grabbed up copies of public records, before they would become "unavailable", to trace what groups claiming to be dissidents were fronting for the American secret political police. It enabled us to later show that the so-called American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, had become defunct in 1967, and had been quietly bought out by a spy agency operation, the Roger Baldwin Foundation. Yet, the press even now refers to them as the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-existent organization.

[About 1990, the Nation Magazine, funded in part by CIA Foundation funds, ran a story about CIA's competitor, the FBI. Namely that for many years after World War Two, the ACLU was a spy-front for the FBI. Ha! Ha! That was one way of the CIA sticking it to the FBI.]

As to the New York Times 1967 series, the records in question were IRS Form 990-A, for foundations, which unlike the income tax returns of corporations and individuals have to be a public record. The records are kept by the District boss of the IRS in the district the foundation shows as a headquarters. For 50 cents a page or so, the IRS office supposedly has to furnish you copies. [A private research group, Donors Forum, with offices in major U.S. cities, over the years were among those which kept copies of some of these Forms.]

[Scroll way down our website for story "A Short History of CIA Fronts".]

In the same year 1967, was a huge supposedly peacenik-type convention in Chicago. Called "The New Politics", it was convened at a fancy old hotel, the Palmer House, that strangely charged a knock-down rate of eight dollars a day for rooms for those registering for the convention and staying at the hotel.

The brains behind the affair was a local political analyst guru, Don Rose, a likeable fellow with a full-mouth of rhetoric sympathetic to naive anti-war types. Not known to us at the time, his then father-in-law was a top official of the wire-service, United Press International. (Several years later UPI's internal documents, showing the CIA link, fell into our possession.)

There was too much strange money behind the week-long gabfest. Present with his seemingly peace-loving mouthing-off was Rennard C. Davis, called "Rennie", a cute way to make him acceptable. Not known at the time, he was the son of a Frenchmen with links to the French CIA, and the elder Davis became the top advisor in the White House, after 1968, to then President Richard M. Nixon. And note our earlier stories in this series how the French CIA infiltrated the Dallas plot to assassinate President Kennedy, took secret films of the happening, and have used it ever since to blackmail favors out of the U.S.

Years later we uncovered that Don Rose was reportedly financed by a CIA-linked foundation. (In 1969, when I got a few minutes on the local TV, fingering him and Rennie, Don Rose ended up persuading me to allow him to visit me in my home, where he threatened harm against me, such as if I did not shut up, he would see to it that the media would never cover my viewpoints of court reform or anything else.)

In 1967, anyone with something to say to his fellow citizens was at the mercy of the monopoly press. In Chicago, to be acceptable to local media, dissidents had to go through Don Rose. No Internet, no radio talk shows were widely functioning, no public access Cable TV. Just the liars and whores of the press.

At the New Politics convention, I sensed a reversal coming, of the national and international policy of the U.S. as to the Viet Nam War. The "powers that be", the Establishment, the Ruling Class---THEM---wanted somewhere in the future to extricate themselves from the blunder. Instead, they wanted to explore offshore Viet Nam for oil.

Every time I tried to speak up at the huge public gathering in the Ball Room of the fancy old Hotel, I was snubbed, shouted down, and threatened to be shoved out. Known supposed peace-nik leaders did not allow any real questions to be asked.

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