Populist Party/Liberty Lobby Recruitment of Anti-CIA Critics

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It was the casualties of the Vietnam war that crystallized a right-wing critique of U.S. foreign policy that denounced U.S. reliance on covert action, counterinsurgency and political deals as tactical alternatives to military confrontation to achieve geo-political goals. The right-wing analysis raised questions that many citizens were asking. If we didn't want to fight a war to win in the traditional sense, then why did all those soldiers have to die? What was the purpose? Where was the benefit to the U.S.? Who gained from this process? These questions were not asked only by persons on the right, but the answers and theories the right developed were far different than those proposed by the left.

The public debate over this issue expanded in 1973 with publication of the book The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World by retired Air Force Colonel and intelligence community critic L. Fletcher Prouty. While in the military, Prouty was assigned to provide Air Force support for clandestine activities of the CIA. During the last nine years of military service, Prouty was the Pentagon Focal Point Officer through which CIA requests for military assistance were channeled, first for the Air Force, and eventually for the entire Department of Defense. In his book, Prouty criticized the CIA's penchant for counterinsurgency and clandestine operations, which he argued prolonged the war in Vietnam and resulted in the unnecessary deaths of many U.S. soldiers. Given his experience and knowledge of CIA activity, Prouty has become an influential critic of the agency, and has gained an audience across the political spectrum.14

The Liberty Lobby's Spotlight newspaper took Prouty's original thesis and overlaid it with a conspiracy theory regarding Jewish influence in U.S. foreign policy. The "Secret Team" apparently became the "Secret Jewish Team" in their eyes. Sometime in the 1980's, a number of right-wing critics of U.S. intelligence operations, including Prouty, began to drift towards the Spotlight analysis. They began to feed information from their sources inside the government to publications and groups that circulate conspiracy theories alleging Jewish influence and control over world events.

Prouty's The Secret Team was recently republished by the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). IHR promotes the theory that the accepted history of the Holocaust is essentially a hoax perpetrated by Jews to benefit the state of Israel. Noontide Press, in essence the book and pamphlet distribution arm of the Institute for Historical Review, is the largest distributor of pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish, white supremacist literature in the United States. Noontide Press also distributes such titles as Auschwitz: Truth or Lie--An Eyewitness Report, Hitler At My Side, and For Fear of the Jews.

In 1974, Marchetti, a former executive assistant to the deputy director of the CIA, co-authored The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, a well-received best-seller and the first book the CIA tried to suppress through court action. By 1989, however, Marchetti had been recruited into a close alliance with Carto's Liberty Lobby network. In 1989, Marchetti presented a paper at the Ninth International Revisionist Conference held by the Institute for Historical Review. The title of Marchetti's paper, published in IHR's Journal of Historical Review, was "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History." Marchetti edits the New American View newsletter, which as one promotional flyer explained, was designed to "document for patriotic Americans like yourself the excess of pro-Israelism, which warps the news we see and hear from our media, cows our Congress into submission, and has already cost us hundreds of innocent, young Americans in Lebanon and elsewhere."

Marchetti describes himself as a person whose "intelligence expertise and well-placed contacts have provided me with a unique insight into the subversion of our democratic process and foreign policy by those who would put the interests of Israel above those of America and Americans." Marchetti is also the publisher of a Japanese-language book ADL and Zionism, written by LaRouche followers Paul Goldstein and Jeffrey Steinberg.

Marchetti was co-publisher of the Zionist Watch newsletter when it was endorsed in direct mail appeals on Liberty Lobby stationery by the now deceased Lois Petersen, who for many years was the influential secretary of the Liberty Lobby board of directors. The October 5, 1987 Spotlight reported that Mark Lane had been named associate editor of Zionist Watch, which at the time was housed in the same small converted Capitol Hill townhouse as Liberty Lobby/Spotlight. Zionist Watch featured a conspiracist critique which saw Israel controlling U.S. foreign policy.

Mark Lane is the legal representative of Liberty Lobby and other Carto enterprises, which in itself is not indicative of any political affiliation. But Lane is also an active apologist for the Institute for Historical Review and Willis Carto. Writing in his book Plausible Denial, Lane contends that "I have never heard an anti-Semitic expression" from Carto.15 Lane uses his Jewish background and past leftist credentials to divert attention from Carto's role as the leading purveyor of racist, anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi literature in the U.S. Lane describes in Plausible Denial how he was recruited into the Carto network through the late Haviv Schieber, who Lane describes in glowing terms as a Jewish activist fighting for peace in the Middle East.

Schieber is more accurately described as an early supporter of the ultra-right Jabotinsky Zionist movement. Schieber broke with Zionism and the state of Israel when he came to believe it had been seized by the socialist and communist forces he despised. Schieber's diatribes claiming Zionist control of Congress were regularly reported in Carto's Spotlight newspaper, which referred to Schieber as "an outspoken anti-communist and critic of Israel."16 Schieber's views were also promoted by Andrew I. Killgore, publisher of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Lane, Schieber, Jewish anti-Zionist Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, Killgore, and right-wing Christian radio broadcaster Dale Crowley, Jr., became the leading exponents of a right-wing anti-Zionist critique in Washington, D.C. in the mid-1980's. It was Schieber who, over breakfast in 1980, convinced Lane to contact Carto, as modestly described by Lane in Plausible Denial:

I discovered before breakfast was concluded, however, that E. Howard Hunt, the convicted Watergate burglar and official of the Central Intelligence Agency, had filed a lawsuit against Victor Marchetti, a former high-ranking officer with the CIA and against Liberty Lobby, Inc., publisher of Spotlight, for an article Marchetti had written and Spotlight had published about the assassination of President Kennedy....Haviv had a new...mission. I would represent the defendants, Marchetti and the newspaper; we would win, thus establishing the truth about the death of President Kennedy; and a national newspaper that published a dissenting view of Middle Eastern affairs would survive.17

Spotlight used the opportunity of the release of Oliver Stone's film JFK to promote Fletcher Prouty, Mark Lane, and Victor Marchetti. Prouty was an advisor on the film and was the model for the film's character "Mr. X." Prouty and Lane went on book promotion tours in tandem with the film. Spotlight wove its coverage of the film "JFK" around its theories about Jewish "dual loyalist" control of the U.S. government and the claim that the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, controls CIA covert operations.

While concern over Reagan Administration participation in joint intelligence operations with Mossad is legitimate, the use of anti-Zionism as a cover for conspiracist anti-Jewish bigotry can be seen in an article in the August 24, 1981 issue of Spotlight:

A brazen attempt by influential "Israel-firsters" in the policy echelons of the Reagan administration to extend their control to the day-to-day espionage and covert-action operations of the CIA was the hidden source of the controversy and scandals that shook the U.S. intelligence establishment this summer.

The dual loyalists, whose domination over the federal executive's high planning and strategy-making resources is now just about total, have long wanted to grab a hand in the on-the-spot "field control" of the CIA's worldwide clandestine services. They want this control, not just for themselves, but on behalf of the Mossad, Israel's terrorist secret police.

Spotlight not only rails against "dual-loyalist" Jews in government, but also has praised the Nazi skinhead movement and reported favorably on the "spirit" of the Nazi Waffen SS during World War II.

Prouty is quoted in the October 8, 1990 edition of Spotlight as saying the enemy of the American people is the CIA along with "usury, the political parties, the media and our textbooks." The issue of usury (high interest rates) is often coupled with a bigoted critique of Jewish financial influence and power, and whether or not that was the way Prouty meant it to be taken, in the context of a Liberty Lobby conference, the anti-Jewish inference would be drawn by many in the audience.

Prouty also was quoted in the Spotlight as saying that "If anybody really wants to know what's going on in the world today he should be reading The Spotlight." Prouty refused to confirm or deny the accuracy of the quote in an interview with the author.18

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