In line with Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel’s admonition that no crisis should go to waste, the Obama Administration is preparing to use the matter of massive debt and deficits to push for drastic cuts in our national U.S. military budget. The proposed cuts, which total $960 billion, could leave the U.S. as a second-rate military power.
The plan is to use the $13 trillion debt and $1.4 trillion annual deficit to argue for radical cuts to national defense. President Obama has already appointed a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to look at long-term budgetary trends and vote on a final report no later than December 1.
Under the “Sustainable Defense Task Force” plan, the U.S. Navy would be cut to 230 combat ships (from a planned number of 313). Under President Reagan, the U.S. had come close to achieving a 600-ship Navy.
Other proposals include:
- Reduce the US nuclear arsenal.
- Slash spending on missile defense and space.
- Retire two Navy aircraft carriers and two naval air wings.
- Reduce F-35 fighter procurement by 220 aircraft.
- Cancel or delay the Joint Strike Fighter.
- End procurement of the MV-22 Osprey.
Rep. Barney Frank, one of the most left-wing members of Congress, created the “Sustainable Defense Task Force” that came up with the cuts and worked in cooperation with Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The “left-right coalition” making up the membership of the group included people from the Center for American Progress and the Cato Institute, both of them funded by George Soros. Another member came from the pro-Marxist Institute for Policy Studies.
Its members included:
- Carl Conetta, Co-Director, Project on Defense Alternatives (Commonwealth Institute)
- Benjamin Friedman, Cato Institute
- William Hartung, New America Foundation
- Chris Hellman, National Priorities Project
- Heather Hurlburt, National Security Network
- John Issacs, Executive Director, Council for a Livable World
- Charles Knight, Co-Director, Project on Defense Alternatives (Commonwealth Institute)
- Larry Korb, Center for American Progress
- Paul Martin, PeaceAction
- Laicie Olsen, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
- Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston College
- Miriam Pemberton, Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies
- Laura Peterson, Taxpayers for Common Sense
- Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute
- Winslow Wheeler, Center for Defense Information.
The involvement of two officials of the libertarian Cato Institute confirms our fears, expressed in a previous AIM Report, about the influence of what we called the “Progressive Libertarians.” We pointed out that these libertarians, sometimes mistakenly referred to as conservatives, have often collaborated with left-wing organizations and individuals.
We noted, “The seeds of this strange collaboration of interests were planted decades ago, when the pro-Marxist Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) held a seminar under the title of ‘Left and Right,’ featuring Marcus Raskin of IPS and Karl Hess, then an IPS fellow. The speakers at this 1969 event included economist Murray Rothbard and Jeff Liebling, the latter identified as ‘former Youth for Goldwater’ and ‘SDS member.’ Hess, a former Barry Goldwater speechwriter who died in 1994, traveled easily between left and right.”
A September 1970 IPS seminar on “U.S. Strategy in Asia” was organized by Earl C. Ravenal, then an IPS Associate Fellow, who would later join the Cato Institute as a distinguished senior fellow in foreign policy studies. A book featuring the proceedings of the event reveals the participation of Morton Halperin, then with the liberal Brookings Institution and now a top employee of George Soros.
We noted that Justin Logan of the Cato Institute recently appeared on the Glenn Beck show along with another Cato scholar, Chris Edwards, who said that we should “pull back the foreign troops” and drastically reduce the U.S. defense budget. This will produce “higher security” for the U.S., he claimed.
Sounding like an anti-war progressive, Edwards charged that sinister arms manufacturers were pushing funding for unneeded weapons.
Obama had already cancelled the F-22 Raptor, the most advanced air superiority fighter in the U.S. inventory, at a time when the Russians are developing their own version of a fifth generation fighter.
The Cato Institute favored the Obama policy of killing the F-22.
On top of this cut, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pledged on June 28 to cut $100 billion from the military budget over the next five years.
The left-wing IPS, a key component of the “progressive” coalition backing Obama, has been waging a campaign to have Obama veto more “unneeded weapons systems” and is urging the president to make the defense cuts “much deeper.”
On July 4, Independence Day, the Washington Post ran a sympathetic front page story about Attorney General Eric Holder “guarding the nation’s safety.” The front-page photo showed Holder in “the quiet of his kitchen” as he “weighs issues of national security.”
In fact, in the preceding days, Holder and his top political appointees had been accused of failing to take action against the threat of violence at a polling station in Philadelphia. J. Christian Adams, an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, blew the whistle on how Holder’s top lieutenants dismissed a voter intimidation lawsuit against members of the New Black Panther Party. Fox News video had shown members of the group, one of whom carried a night stick, trying to prevent people from voting.
Since the Black Panthers had a weapon that could have inflicted serious damage, and since the Black Panthers have historically been involved in violence, the question has to be asked if Holder’s actions are in fact the prelude to actually sanctioning revolutionary violence.
Is this a crazy question? Recall that Holder was involved in the Clinton Administration pardons of members of the Weather Underground and Puerto Rican FALN terrorist groups.
Also consider that on February 16, 1970, a bomb filled with heavy metal staples exploded and ripped through the body of and killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell at the Park Station police headquarters. Former FBI informant Larry Garthwohl has testified that Obama associates William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were involved in that bombing. More evidence is being gathered in the case.
Our media should be pressing Holder to bring charges in this case as well.
A Socialist on the High Court?
By Cliff Kincaid
Elena Kagan’s controversial “Final Conflict” thesis on socialism was written in 1981 when she was 21 years old. Professor Harvey Klehr, an expert on the socialist and communist movements, told me that while he sensed “a lurking sympathy” in the document for the left-wing of the Socialist Party, he didn’t find a “red flag” that would derail her nomination. Kagan’s thesis covered the rise and fall of the socialist movement in New York City from 1900-1933.
Clearly, however, the socialist movement has risen again, under the cover of the “progressive” tradition that includes not only the President who appointed Kagan but her backers at the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP).
The embrace of Kagan by this movement is the real “red flag.” But Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) has noted in an editorial the “free ride” that Kagan has received in her confirmation hearings, as Republican senators have mostly “played dead” and the major media have acted as “compliant shills” for the nomination. Yet, as noted by IBD, Kagan has a radical record that includes:
- Twisting scientific findings in order to protect the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion.
- Banning military recruiters at Harvard Law School to please radical homosexual activists.
- Arguing as solicitor general that books, and maybe pamphlets, too, might not be worthy of First Amendment protection.
- Seeming to agree that it would be constitutional for the federal government to tell people what to eat.
As we have seen with Van Jones, who has been rehired by CAP, it is today fashionable in left-wing or “progressive” circles to be a socialist and even communist revolutionary. This wasn’t always the case.
Jones resigned his White House job after the scrutiny into his Marxist background and membership in STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement) was threatening to implicate Obama and Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett in his hiring. It recently came out that Obama favored Jarrett for the U.S. Senate seat he vacated after his election to the presidency.
The open collaboration with Jones by CAP represents a sharp break with the anti-communist liberals, once a major force in the progressive movement and the Democratic Party, who had rejected any ties or associations with supporters of totalitarianism and communist dictatorships.
In analyzing the more recent history of socialism, a good place to start is Henry Wallace’s Third Party movement in 1948, the Progressive Party. Wallace was not an insignificant figure, having been vice president in Franklin Roosevelt’s third term.
In his report, “From Henry Wallace to William Ayers—the Communist and Progressive Movements,” Herbert Romerstein points out that while Wallace wasn’t a communist, the party was under Communist Party USA (CPUSA) control. “The Communists even reassigned some of their members from Soviet espionage to run the Progressive Party,” he says. The CPUSA was funded by Moscow and was so obedient to the Soviet line that it backed the Hitler–Stalin pact.
Picking up where Kagan’s thesis leaves off, Romerstein notes that Earl Browder, who headed the Communist Party in the 1930s until 1945, had boasted in 1960 about the success of the communists under his leadership.
In this context, a far more questionable treatment of the socialist or “progressive” movement can be found in a lengthy report issued by the Center for American Progress entitled “The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America.”
Curiously, it ignores Henry Wallace and his communist-dominated Progressive Party.
A Curious Omission
I asked John Halpin, who wrote much of the CAP report and also co-authored The Power of Progress with John Podesta, CAP president, about this omission. He replied:
“Henry Wallace received fewer votes than Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948 and carried no states. Nearly all progressive and liberal support went to Harry Truman. Wallace was a decent man and his work on agriculture and his stands on ending segregation and fighting for racial equality were admirable. However, because of his foreign policy stands and his naive approach to Communist influence in the party, most of the major progressive and liberal voices of the time—including Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kenneth Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Reinhold Niebuhr—gathered within Americans for Democratic Action, an explicitly anti-Communist, pro-civil rights organization. Long term, Wallace’s 1948 campaign had no real impact on progressives.”
But while the Dixiecrats faded from the scene, the “progressives” did not. This is a critical point.
Noted historian and author David Pietrusza confirms this, telling me:
“Following their humiliating 1948 defeat, Wallace’s Progressives refused to surrender. They instead embarked upon a ‘Long March’ that led to their ideological heirs’ capture of the modern Democratic Party. A key milestone in their re-birth was 1968. That year, Democrats turned against Truman-JFK-LBJ Cold War policies. That same year, former Progressive Party national convention delegate Senator George McGovern emerged as the heir to the martyred Robert Kennedy. Four years later, McGovern captured the Democratic nomination and re-wrote party national convention rules to cement the transformation of his party’s leftward drift. The Obama victory of 2008, and the personnel and policies of his administration, largely translate into a victory for Henry Wallace’s ideological heirs, not for Truman’s. The Truman-style Democrat is largely extinct.”
The non-communists like Wallace who tolerated communists became known as “fellow travelers” or dupes. The Communists used such people to influence non-communist Americans in the trade union movement and the Democratic Party.
Romerstein notes, “Two secret Communist Party members became Democratic members of the United States Congress. They were John Bernard from Minnesota and Hugh DeLacy from Washington State. A ‘friend of the Party’ was Vito Marcantonio, who was elected to Congress first as a Republican, then as a Democrat, and finally as a candidate of the Communist Party controlled American Labor Party in New York.”
DeLacy’s memorial service was attended by Rep. Leon Panetta, now the director of the CIA under Obama, who had paid tribute to DeLacy and his wife as “lifelong activists for social justice.”
Bringing the history of socialism and communism up to the present time, Romerstein has explained how the “New Left” of the 1960s and 70s included Communists involved in such groups as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and its terrorist offspring, the Weather Underground. Later, some of these Marxists would emerge in the group called “Progressives for Obama,” which included Carl Davidson, formerly of SDS, and Barbara Ehrenreich and Cornel West of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), whose Chicago branch had backed Obama from the start.
Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the communists reorganized, with many of them establishing the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. Not as widely known, however, is the fact that a secret member of this group was Barbara Lee, who would become a member of the U.S. Congress, leader of the congressional Progressive Caucus and leader of the congressional Black Caucus.
An early backer and organizer of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency, she would be honored in 2009 as a “progressive” champion by the Campaign for America’s Future.
Spotlight on the Media
Is the FBI Watching Obama?
The timing was fascinating: Ten alleged Russian intelligence operatives were arrested in the U.S., just after Obama had entertained the Russian president in Washington and signed a new strategic arms reduction (START) treaty with the Russians. The treaty is seen by critics as putting the U.S. at a strategic disadvantage. The Obama Administration also announced a new Nuclear Posture Review that reduces the importance of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy.
Have Russian agents already exercised influence on the Obama Administration?
Remember that President Obama, as a young student at Columbia University, urged the utopian goal of a “world without nuclear weapons, which is neither achievable nor desirable.
The Center for Security Policy notes deficiencies in the new START treaty, including the failure to address Russian and Chinese modernization efforts. Rather than disarm, the Center says there is a need for:
- A robust, up-to-date American nuclear stockpile and missile defense capability to maintain international stability.
- A strong and modern strategic “triad” of land- and sea-based ballistic missiles and long-range bombers.
Also don’t forget that the Kremlin is now occupying two Georgian regions that Russian troops seized during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. What’s more, Russia is building military bases in those regions. All of this happened under the Obama Administration.
Are the indictments of the Russian spies a signal to Obama that somebody at the FBI is watching him?
Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, could not have stopped the arrests because this was a “multi-year investigation,” meaning that it started before Obama took office.
Don’t forget that Obama’s childhood mentor — Frank Marshall Davis — was a member of the pro-Russian Communist Party USA.
Remember, too, that the Russian intelligence service had targeted former Clinton State Department operative Strobe Talbott. He was exposed in the book Comrade J as a Russian intelligence asset and is now the president of the liberal Brookings Institution.
Help us campaign to get all of the Russian agents identified, exposed, and arrested. And let’s hope and pray that federal law enforcement authorities have the courage and integrity to follow their trail and the evidence, wherever it may lead.