Accuracy in Media

Does Obama’s science adviser advocate compulsory abortions and putting chemicals into the water supply to sexually sterilize human beings? Some well-known conservative bloggers and columnists have repeated this information, based on revelations on a website strangely called Zombietime. But an analysis by Accuracy in Media has determined that some of the most sensational charges against Dr. John P. Holdren fall short of the mark. Still, he has a lot to answer for, including his curious belief in a “Planetary Regime” to manage the world.

That Holdren endorsed the concept of a “planetary regime” is shocking, considering that he is now a top White House official. In fairness, however, it doesn’t seem much different from Pope Benedict XVI’s endorsement of a “World Political Authority,” which was included in his recent encyclical. Devotion to some form of world government seems popular in religious and government circles these days, especially in the age of Obama.

The difference, of course, is that Holdren was confirmed by the Senate of the United States and his salary is paid by U.S. taxpayers. However, senators may not have been aware of many of his views.

The Senate unanimously confirmed Holdren to the position of Science Adviser and head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on March 19. He was previously the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Professor of Energy and Resources Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served as director of the Woods Hole Research Center. 

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana took the February 12 confirmation hearing seriously and grilled Holdren about some of his doomsday views on climate change, population growth, and the possibilities of nuclear war.

Vitter noted, for example, that Holdren had written that 280 million people would be “too many” for the U.S. In response, Holdren said, “I no longer think it’s productive, Senator, to focus on the optimum population for the United States. I don’t think any of us know what the right answer is. When I wrote those lines in 1973, I was preoccupied with the fact that many problems the United States faced appeared to be being made more difficult by the rate of population growth that then prevailed.”

Warnings Ignored

William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute had warned the Senate that Holdren had “a 40-year record of outlandish scientific assertions, consistently wrong predictions, and dangerous public policy choices” that made him “unfit to serve as White House Science Adviser.”

Still, no senator voted against Holdren.

Holdren is now under renewed assault for statements that are being attributed to him in a 1977 book he co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment.

Holdren was a close associate of Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, who, as noted by AIM founder Reed Irvine in a 1999 AIM Report, is “the discredited former Stanford butterfly expert who used to show up regularly on television shows warning of impending disasters that have never materialized.” Highlighting one of Ehrlich’s most notable gaffes, Irvine explained that “In 1980 Ehrlich bet economist Julian Simon $1,000 that the price of a group of raw materials that he selected would be higher in 1990; Simon, who predicted prices would be lower, won the bet.” This became known internationally as the “Simon-Ehrlich Wager.”

At the time it was reported that Obama would nominate Holdren as science czar, John Tierney of the New York Times noted that Holdren was “one of the experts” that Ehrlich had enlisted on his side in making that bet.

What Is Zombietime?

The website Zombietime attracted attention by seeking to prove the most sensational charges against Holdren with actual excerpts from the book that are reproduced for everyone to see. Its headline screamed, “John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet.” The subheadline was, “Book he authored in 1977 advocates for extreme totalitarian measures to control the population.” The author of the piece about Holdren is anonymous and there seems to be no way to contact or even know the identity of the person or persons behind the website.

What’s worse, some of the key excerpts have been taken out of context to attribute views to Holdren that he attributes to others.

Zombietime reports, for example, that on page 837 Holdren and his co-authors write that “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society. Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however.”

However, this statement is preceded by this paragraph: “The impact of laws and policies on population size and growth has, until very recently, largely been ignored by the legal profession. The first comprehensive treatment of population law was that of the late Johnson C. Montgomery, an attorney who was president of Zero Population Growth, and whose ideas are the basis of much of the following discussion.”

Zombietime says that on pages 942-943 the book calls for a “Planetary Regime” that “should control the global economy and dictate by force the number of children allowed to be born.”

Page 942 does include a heading, “Toward a Planetary Regime,” and page 943 declares, “The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime should have some power to enforce the agreed limits. As with the Law of the Sea and other international agreements, all agreements for regulating population sizes, resource development, and pollution should be subject to revision and modification in accordance with changing conditions.”

World Government?

Holdren cannot wiggle out of responsibility for these statements because he does not specifically attribute them to anyone else in particular. Hence, the endorsement of a “planetary regime” can be correctly attributed to the authors of the book, including Holdren. What’s more, Holdren’s endorsement of the Law of the Sea Treaty is currently relevant because this is a treaty that Obama is now pushing for ratification by the U.S. Senate.

The book declares on page 943: “Should a Law of the Sea be successfully established, it could serve as a model for a future Law of the Atmosphere to regulate the use of airspace, to monitor climate change, and to control atmospheric pollution. Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP [United Nations Environmental Program] and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime-sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural re-sources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist.”

This is not only dangerous but an accurate prediction of what is currently happening under Obama, who is pushing Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty and hoping to produce another and much tougher global warming treaty at a United Nations conference in December in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Global Enforcer

Zombietime highlights that the Holdren book declares on page 917 that “If this could be accomplished, security might be provided by an armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force.”

This statement is followed by the important caveat: “But it seems probable that, as long as most people fail to comprehend the magnitude of the danger, that step will be impossible.”

In this case, the caveat is not convincing, in part because Holdren seems to have dedicated his career to exaggerating “the danger” and can be counted on to continue to do so in his White House position.  

It goes without saying that the major media should belatedly begin to probe Holdren’s views with a careful reading of the book Ecoscience.




It is wrong to speak ill of the dead. On the other hand, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to pretend that Walter Cronkite was the “voice of God” and “universally credible,” as Mara Liasson put it on Fox News Sunday. The terrible truth is that Walter Cronkite symbolized liberal media bias and used that bias with disastrous consequences for our nation and the world. His latest cause was world government and the destruction of American sovereignty.

We found out after his retirement that he was not only a liberal, which was evident from his broadcasts, but a one-worlder. In appearances before the World Federalist Association, which favors world government financed by global taxes, he called for the U.S. to renounce “some of its sovereignty” and pass a series of United Nations treaties-many of which are now being pushed in the Senate by President Barack Obama. Cronkite called for an “international Liberty Bell.”

He called for Senate ratification of the Treaty to Ban Land Mines, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most important, he said, we should sign and ratify the Treaty for a Permanent International Criminal Court, which would violate U.S. constitutional rights by enabling foreign judges to prosecute American citizens and imprison them in foreign jails. Cronkite was determined to use the U.N. and its treaties to inhibit the ability of the U.S. to act in its own national security interests.

One of Cronkite’s appearances, where he accepted a “Global Governance” award, was at an event which featured the wife of then-U.N. boss Kofi Annan and a video from then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. The same “Global Governance” award had also been given to former Time magazine columnist Strobe Talbott, another advocate of world government, later a top State Department official in the Clinton Administration and subsequently named as a “special contact” of the Russian intelligence service by a Russian spy. Talbott now runs the liberal Brookings Institution.

In 1988, seven years after his retirement as anchorman of the CBS Evening News, Cronkite addressed a left-wing People for the American Way conference and denounced President Reagan for the “unilateral” military actions in Grenada, when the U.S. military evicted a communist gang, and Libya, when Reagan ordered a military strike in retaliation for the acts of terrorism against Americans. Cronkite despised Reagan’s peace-through-strength policies and said that the smartest president he ever met was Jimmy Carter.

Later, Cronkite denounced Operation Iraqi Freedom and attacked the Bush administration for its “arrogance.”

His role in the Vietnam defeat is being reported as if it were a highlight of his career. Yet, his misreporting helped create the conditions for a premature U.S. military withdrawal, leading to the loss of the lives of 58,000 Americans in vain, not to mention the millions of additional deaths caused in Vietnam and Cambodia by the Communists. Cronkite’s public verdict that the 1968 Tet offensive was a “defeat” for the U.S. is widely seen as a turning point in American support for the war. Cronkite falsely claimed that the Vietcong had held the American embassy for 6 hours and that the offensive “went on for two months.” The facts show that Tet was actually a major defeat for the communist enemy.

Irvine Exposes Cronkite

AIM founder and longtime AIM Report editor Reed Irvine noted that Cronkite “contributed a great deal to our defeat in Vietnam.”

Beyond Vietnam, Cronkite got it wrong on one of the big issues-freedom versus Soviet communism. In the 1974 book, TV and National Defense, Dr. Ernest Lefever examined how CBS News programs for two years had covered national security issues and concluded that the news organization was “an active advocate of several national defense positions which were frequently critical of U.S. policy, and usually from a perspective that implied or called for a lesser military commitment and lower defense expenditures.”

In 1972, for instance, the CBS Evening News aired nearly 1,400 presentations supporting the dovish view. Contrary or hawkish positions were aired only 79 times.

Asked about the charges, Cronkite displayed the bias that guided his news program, saying that “There are always groups in Washington expressing views of alarm over the state of our defenses. We don’t carry those stories. The story is that there are those who want to cut defense spending.” The “most trusted man in America” didn’t deserve our trust.

In 1979, he gave an interview to the Soviet magazine, Literary Gazette, and told Vitaly Kobysh that the “Soviet threat” was “most likely…a myth.” According to the magazine, Cronkite went on to say that “I will never believe in a ‘Soviet threat.'”

Shortly after the interview was published, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. He retired as CBS Evening News anchorman in 1981.

Cronkite told AIM founder and editor Reed Irvine that he had been misquoted by Kobysh, and that he had a tape recording of the interview to prove it. The tape never materialized. Irvine ran into Kobysh at an international media conference and the Soviet journalist said the interview was entirely accurate.

Cronkite Defends Soviets

After Ronald Reagan took office as President and proceeded to build up U.S. national defense capability, in the wake of the disastrous Jimmy Carter years, CBS News acted to counter the Reagan effort. CBS News aired a five-part program, “The Defense of the United States,” in which Cronkite appeared to tell us that the relationship with the Soviet Union was dominated by “the same old fears and doubts” because we didn’t have a genuine dialogue with the Soviet communists.

Irvine noted at the time of the broadcast that CBS gave us “the Kremlin view that it is the United States, not the Soviet Union, that is striving for an impossible military superiority, while creating fantasies about Soviet aggression.”

However, Irvine noted that Reagan “was not deterred” by the CBS News assault but that the momentum behind his election mandate to rebuild America’s defense was “weakened” somewhat by the constant repetition by the media that he was spending too much on national security. Cronkite’s accomplices in this crusade included Dan Rather, his successor, and Bill Moyers, then with CBS and now public television.

For many years Irvine drew attention to the “persistent anti-defense bias of CBS News” and reported, “One has to wonder why the anti-defense bias is so strong and persistent at CBS. My own feeling is that it is a reflection of the views enunciated by Walter Cronkite that show a benign view of the Soviet Union.”

In 1989, while expressing the hope that the Soviet archives would one day be opened to demonstrate how the Kremlin manipulated American journalists such as Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who had lied and helped Stalin cover up his monstrous crimes that resulted in the deaths of 7-10 million Ukrainians, Irvine added that “It will be fascinating to see what they say about Walter Cronkite, who spent two years in Moscow after World War II as UPI correspondent and who has been remarkably restrained in his criticism of that country ever since.”

This may sound harsh, but the fact is that Cronkite was consistently wrong about Soviet intentions, and his attitude dominated CBS News coverage of the old Soviet Union.

Cronkite And “Hanoi Jane”

After the Soviet collapse, Irvine wrote a 1990 AIM Report about those personalities who had taken “a benign or even adulatory view of communism and the Soviet Union. Cronkite was on this list of “doves,” which also included “Hanoi Jane” Fonda.

It is fine to recognize Cronkite for his long life and many years as anchorman of the CBS Evening News. He captured important moments and reached millions. But don’t pretend that he was an objective journalist.

Cronkite’s journalism cost lives and could have cost many more, had it not been for a president named Reagan who had the courage to by-pass the major media and go directly to the American people with the truth about our crumbling defenses when America was increasingly vulnerable.

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