what could be the biggest State Department scandal since State Department
official and United Nations founder Alger Hiss was exposed as a Soviet
spy, a top Clinton State Department official and former Time magazine
journalist has been identified as having been a trusted contact of the
Russian intelligence service.
sensational charge against Strobe Talbott is made in a new book based
on interviews with a Russian defector. The book,
Comrade J, by veteran author and reporter Pete Earley, identifies
Talbott as having been manipulated by a Russian official working for
Russian intelligence in order to get information about U.S. foreign
policy. The same book describes the United Nations as a major base of
espionage operations for Russia in the U.S.
the story gets much more scandalous than that because Talbott himself
has just written a book, The Great Experiment, describing his
own background in the pro-world government World Federalist Movement
and naming a network of friends and close associates that includes former
President Bill Clinton and billionaire leftist George Soros. Curiously,
the book calls for expanding the authority of the U.N. but completely
ignores the role of Soviet spy Alger Hiss, himself a top State Department
official, in founding the United Nations.
purpose of Talbott’s book is to promote “global governance,” a
euphemism for world government. It is defined in the subtitle as “The
Quest for a Global Nation.”
one of Talbott’s closest friends in the U.S. Senate, Republican Richard
Lugar of Indiana, has emerged as a foreign policy adviser to leading
Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
In 2005, Lugar and Obama made a visit to Russia to promote the scandal-ridden
“Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR),” also known as the
Nunn-Lugar program for its original Senate sponsors. The CTR has poured
about $6 billion into the former Soviet Union in foreign aid, supposedly
for the purpose of preventing nuclear proliferation.
actively promoting Nunn-Lugar while at Time [magazine], Talbott was
put in charge of the [CTR] program when named by Clinton as ambassador
at large to Russia and the newly independent states in February 1993,”
notes journalist Ken Timmerman, in a report headlined, “Strobe Talbott:
Russia’s Man in Washington.”
Hillary And Obama
Talbott has been identified in press accounts as a current adviser to
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, he showed up to hear Senator
Barack Obama deliver a foreign policy address in 2005 to the Council
on Foreign Relations and declared, “It was very impressive.” A story
about the speech carried by MSNBC and published on Obama’s Senate
website noted that Lugar was “helping” Obama in the foreign policy
field, that Obama and Lugar “have formed a political joint venture
and mutual admiration society,” and that they had traveled to Russia
together. The trip to Russia was designed to ensure Obama’s support
for maintaining and even expanding the foreign aid for Russia through
the CTR program.
CTR supporters claim it can be effective in keeping nuclear weapons
or materials out of the hands of terrorists, various reports from the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveal that funds have been used
mainly to destroy obsolete weapons that Moscow was going to replace
with high-tech arms. The International Proliferation Prevention Program,
which has evolved from the CTR, was recently exposed by the GAO
as a jobs program for Russian scientists, more than half of which may
not have any weapons-related experience.
Obama said that “few people” understand Russia better than Lugar,
a “rock star” on the world stage. Lugar, in turn, calls Strobe Talbott
a “good friend” and “source of sound counsel” who “continues
to provide outstanding national and international leadership.”
J is about a Russian master spy, Sergei Tretyakov, who defected
to the United States because he was disgusted with the Russian/Soviet
system and wanted to start a new and better life with his family in
America. His allegations about Talbott have been ignored by most of
is described as the highest ranking Russian intelligence official ever
to defect while stationed in the U.S. and handled all Russian intelligence
operations against the U.S. He served under cover from 1995-2000 at
Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations but was secretly
working for the FBI for at least three years.
has been and continues to be a major foreign policy thinker. Back in
2000, when he was named head of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization,
he was described as “a key architect of U.S. foreign policy” during
the Clinton years. Talbott now serves as president of the liberal think
tank, the Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C., where he gets
paid over $400,000 a year, leads a staff of 277 and presides over an
endowment of over $200 million.
denies Tretyakov’s charges, calling them “erroneous and/or misleading,”
and his denials are featured on page 184 of the book. He says that he
always promoted U.S. foreign policy goals and that the close relationship
that he had with a top Russian official by the name of Georgi Mamedov
did not involve any manipulation or deception.
is not the first time that Talbott has come under scrutiny for his alleged
contacts with agents of a foreign intelligence service. In 1994, when
he was being considered for his State Department post in the Clinton
Administration, he was grilled by Senator Jesse Helms, a member of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, about his relationship with Victor
Louis, a Soviet “journalist” who was actually a Soviet KGB intelligence
agent. Talbott had been a young correspondent for Time magazine in Moscow.
reported by Herbert Romerstein in Human Events newspaper, Talbott admitted
knowing Louis from 1969 until his death in 1992 but that he was not
aware of his “organizational affiliations.” Pressed further, Talbott
acknowledged that he was aware of assertions or speculation to that
effect about Louis. Helms then confronted Talbott with a 1986 State
Department publication revealing that Louis had been identified as a
KGB agent by KGB defectors and had been used by the Soviets to spread
disinformation. Talbott said he still didn’t know for sure that Louis
was a KGB agent. Romerstein’s Human Events article accused Talbott
of writing articles following the Soviet line.
Talbott had powerful friends, including Senator and fellow Rhodes Scholar
Richard Lugar, who supported his nomination.
a retired government expert on anti-American and communist propaganda
activities, said the Earley book is valuable because it documents that
the Russian intelligence service picked up where the KGB left off, and
that operations against the U.S. continued after the end of the Cold
he said the information about Talbott needs further explanation from
Talbott himself. “Talbott really has to explain more than he did to
Pete Earley what his relationship was to Mamedov, and he should tell
us about his relationship with Victor Louis,” Romerstein said.
January 4, Talbott gave a talk at the “Politics & Prose” bookstore
in Washington, D.C., where he explained in precise detail what he means
by “global governance.” He said that it “allows for a multiplicity
of governments [or] nation states in the world but at the same time
depends increasingly on an international system made up of up treaties,
international law, institutions, and various arrangements whereby nations
in effect pool their national authority in order to deal with certain
problems that they cannot deal with all by themselves and they can’t
deal with in small numbers.”
added, “That is the big idea that the book attempts to describe and
trace. And it’s not just a utopian dream. Global governance is a reality.
We have it today.”
the future, Talbott says the U.N. will need to be “incorporated into
an increasingly variegated network of structures and arrangements, some
functional in focus, others geographic; some intergovernmental, others
based on systematic collaboration with the private sector, civil society,
and NGOs [non-governmental organizations]. Only if the larger enterprise
of global governance has that kind of breadth and depth will it be able
to supplement what the U.N. does well, compensate for what it does badly,
and provide capabilities that it lacks.”
1993, when Talbott was nominated by President Clinton as Ambassador
at Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on the new Independent
States (of the former Soviet Union), Senator John McCain took to the
Senate floor to declare that, despite Talbott being a close friend and
personal pick of the President’s, “I cannot in good conscience vote
to confirm his appointment.”
said that Talbott, as a writer for Time magazine and a commentator,
had been guilty of making “mistaken observations” and suggesting
“flawed policy solutions” on the matter of whether Russia “will
evolve peacefully and democratically, collapse into chaos, or return
to totalitarianism, be it Communist or fascist.”
noted that Talbott opposed all of the Reagan initiatives, including
deployment of missiles to Europe and the Strategic Defense Initiative,
which had kept Europe free from Soviet control and eventually resulted
in the demise of the Soviet empire. McCain said that
“it would require many more hours for me to cite all the examples
of mistakes and inconsistencies upon which Mr. Talbott bases his reputation
as a Soviet expert.”
on April 2, 1993, Talbott was confirmed by the Senate to this post by
a Yea-Nay Vote of 89-9. One of his leading Senate backers was Indiana
Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The nine voting against Talbott were
Craig (R-ID), Faircloth (R-NC), Gorton (R-WA), Helms (R-NC), Kempthorne
(R-ID), Lott (R-MS), McCain (R-AZ), Smith (R-NH), and Wallop (R-WY).
February 22, 1994, again with Lugar’s vigorous support, Talbott was
confirmed by the Senate by a Yea-Nay Vote of 66-31 to the post of Deputy
Secretary of State. Once again, McCain voted against him.
critical of the George W. Bush Administration, Talbott hosted Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice at a May 2007 meeting of the International
Advisory Council of Brookings. In his book, he gives credit to Rice
for “moderating the tone and substance” of policy coming from the
Bush White House in the president’s second term.
book, The Great Experiment, not only ignores the role of Soviet
spy Alger Hiss in founding the U.N. but describes the production of
the U.N. Charter as a “very public American project.” He thanks
George Soros and Walter Isaacson, formerly of Time but now with the
Aspen Institute, for their input on his manuscript.
also gives thanks to convicted document thief Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s
national security adviser who now advises Hillary’s presidential
campaign; Soros associate Morton Halperin, formerly of the ACLU; Javier
Solana of the European Union; and Bill Clinton,
“for helping me better to understand several aspects of his view of
the world and America’s role in it.”
close personal friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Talbott is described
in the Comrade J book as having been “a special unofficial
contact” of the Russian intelligence agency, the SVR, when he was
Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration. Talbott had
been in charge of Russian affairs.
the SVR, that term was used only to identify a top-level intelligence
source who had high social and/or political status and whose identity
needed to be carefully guarded,” the book says. On the same level
of interest was Fidel Castro’s brother Raul, a communist “recruited
by the KGB during the Khrushchev era” who continued to work for the
Russians after the Soviet collapse, the book says. He, too, was a “special
was allegedly manipulated and deceived by Russia’s then Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Georgi Mamedov, who was
“secretly working” for Russian intelligence, the book alleges. The
book, however, does not make the specific charge that Talbott was recruited
as a Russian spy or was a conscious agent of the Russian regime.
book cites Talbott as an “example of how a skilled intelligence agency
could manipulate a situation and a diplomatic source to its advantage
without the target realizing he was being used for intelligence-gathering
purposes.” It says Mamedov was “instructed” by the SVR to ask
specific questions to get information about certain matters.
book says that Talbott was so compromised by his relationship with Mamedov
that the FBI asked Secretary of State Madeleine Albright not to
share information with Talbott about an espionage investigation at the
State Department because Mamedov might learn about it and tip off Russian
intelligence. Earley says he confirmed this account but that Albright
has refused to discuss the incident.
book cites a House of Representatives report, released in September
2000, which found that the Clinton Administration and Talbott in particular
had excused the actions of the Russian government and had failed to
promote democracy and free enterprise there.
book itself discusses how, during the mid 1990s, Talbott, State Department
spokesman Mike McCurry, and President Clinton himself echoed Russian
propaganda that justified Russian attacks on Chechnya. This “delighted
the propagandists inside the SVR,” which claimed credit” for what
the U.S. officials had said, the book says.
seems that Talbott has a tendency, which continues to the present day,
of whitewashing the Russian regime.
congressional testimony just last October on U.S.-Russian relations,
Talbott attacked the Bush Administration for withdrawing from the ABM
treaty, urged Russian membership in the World Trade Organization, and
advocated more negotiations and agreements with Russia over nuclear
arms. The U.S. has “set a bad example” for the Russians in foreign
affairs, Talbott said.
all of these high-powered connections, the story about Talbott being
used by the Russians seems to be a story worth reporting or commenting
on. However, if the media examine the charges against Talbott, they
might have to deal with other evidence and information in the book about
how spies for the Soviet intelligence service manipulated the U.S. media.
book, for instance, explains how the Soviet KGB peddled charges that
deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons to Europe in the 1980s might lead
to their use and a “nuclear winter” or climate crisis for the world.
The book says the story was cooked up by the KGB and fed to the Western
world by anti-nuclear activists such as Carl Sagan, who penned an article
on the topic for the Council on Foreign Relations journal Foreign Affairs.
The book notes that Sagan later appeared on the ABC television network
to talk about the subject.
says he discovered “dozens of case studies” of the KGB using “propaganda
and disinformation to influence public opinion” in the West.
prominent journalist himself at one time, Talbott achieved notoriety
for writing a July 20, 1992, Time column, “The Birth of the Global
Nation,” saying that in the next century “nationhood as we know
it will be obsolete,” that we will all some day become world citizens,
and that wars and human rights violations in the 20th century had clinched
“the case for world government.” This reflects the views of the
pro-world government World Federalist movement.
piece made me briefly popular with foreign policy liberals and, not
so briefly, a target of brickbats from the right,” he says in his
book. He acknowledges that his parents were members of the World
Federalist Movement (they were also
“active in the internationalist wing of the Republican Party
in the late forties and early fifties
“) and that he had a dog growing up known as
“Freddie,” which was short for World Federalists. The World Federalist
Movement collaborated with Soviet front groups such as the Soviet Peace
Committee during the Cold War and tried to avoid scrutiny from anti-communist
congressional committees after World War II.
one of his first major media appearances after his selection as Brookings
president, on the Charlie Rose program, he was identified in promotional
material as a World Federalist. But this designation doesn’t appear
in the official biography on the Brookings website.
global left-wing vision was endorsed personally by President Clinton,
who had sent a June 22, 1993, letter to the World Federalist Association
(WFA) when it gave Talbott its Norman Cousins Global Governance Award.
In the letter, Clinton noted that Cousins, the WFA founder, had “worked
for world peace and world government” and that Talbott was a “worthy
recipient” of the award. Talbott and Bill Clinton became friends when
they were both Rhodes Scholars.
Clinton, who has been friends with Talbott since their days together
at Yale University, gave a videotaped address to the WFA in 1999 on
the occasion of the group giving former anchorman of the CBS Evening
News Walter Cronkite its global governance award. She praised Cronkite’s
work. For his part, Cronkite declared that “we must strengthen the
United Nations as a first step toward a world government” and America
must “yield up some of our sovereignty.”
What You Can Do
Send the enclosed postcard to Howard Wolfson of the Clinton campaign about Hillary’s relationship with Strobe Talbott. Also send a postcard to White House chief of staff Bolten, asking the President to veto Obama’s Global Poverty Act.
Finally, please consider supporting AIM with a financial contribution so that we can continue our educational efforts.