The Anti-Defamation League ran an “extensive, multi-dimensional counterintelligence operation” complete with “undercover agents with code names” to destroy the influential anti-communist John Birch Society, internal ADL documents reveal.
George Washington University professor Matthew Dallek was given access to “some” of the ADL’s records on the spying operation from their historical archive for his new book, “Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right.”
[Mathew] Dallek, who grew up in a Reform Jewish household in Los Angeles, recently sat with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to discuss the rise of the Birchers, how the ADL infiltrated their ranks and whether such tactics are justified in the name of fighting extremism.
[…] JTA: Before we get into the Jewish aspect of the book, meaning the chapter on the Anti-Defamation League’s relationship with the John Birch Society, let’s take a step back. Who are so-called Birchers? Why do they matter?
Mathew Dallek: The John Birch Society was a household name in the 1960s, becoming the emblem of far-right extremism. It didn’t have huge numbers, but it did penetrate the culture and the national consciousness. Its leader, Robert Welch, had argued at one point that President Dwight Eisenhower was a dedicated agent of a communist conspiracy taking over the United States. Welch formed the John Birch Society to educate the American people about the nature of the communist threat.
In its heyday, the group had about 60,000 to 100,000 members, organized into small chapters. They sent out literature trying to give members roadmaps or ideas for what they could do. They believed a mass education of the public was needed because traditional two-party politics was not going to be very effective at exposing the communist threat. They would form front groups such as Impeach Earl Warren [the Supreme Court’s chief justice] or Support Your Local Police. They tried to ban certain books that they viewed as socialistic from being used in schools. Some Birchers ran for school board seats and protested at libraries.
Critics feared that the Birchers were a growing fascist or authoritarian group and that if they were not sidelined politically and culturally then the country could be overrun. The Nation magazine wrote that Birchers essentially had given their followers an invitation to engage in civil war, guerrilla-style. Those fears sparked a big debate about democracy. How does one sustain democracy and, at the height of the Cold War and in the shadow of World War II, Nazi fascist Germany, and the Holocaust?
As you were researching, you came across a trove of historical internal documents from the ADL in the archives of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. Why did you devote a chapter to what you found in those documents? What did those files reveal to you about the John Birch Society?
These papers are a goldmine. They’re this incredible and often detailed window into the far-right and, in particular, the John Birch Society. They show the ADL had an extensive, multi-dimensional counterintelligence operation that they were running against the Birch Society.
People knew at the time that the ADL was attending events where Birchers were speaking. But the ADL also had undercover agents with code names, who were able to infiltrate the society’s headquarters in Belmont, Massachusetts, and various chapter officers. They dug up financial and employment information about individual Birchers. And they not only used the material for their own newsletters and press releases, but they also fed information to the media.
[…] Some critics of the ADL today say the organization has strayed from its mission by focusing not just on antisemitism but on a wider array of causes. But from reading your work, it sounds like the ADL even then took an expansive view of its role, examining not just direct attacks on Jews but also how the political environment can jeopardize Jews. Am I getting that right, and why did the ADL devote so many resources to a group like the John Birch Society?
So, a few things: It’s the late ’50s and ’60s, and a civil rights coalition is emerging. Benjamin Epstein, the national director of the ADL, was friendly with Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court justice, and Martin Luther King. John F. Kennedy went to an ADL event and praised the ADL for speaking out very strongly in defense of democracy and pushing for the equal treatment of all Americans.
Isadore Zack, who helped lead the spy operation, at one point wrote to his colleagues that it was only in a democracy that the Jewish community has been allowed to flourish and so, if you want to defend Jewish Americans, you also have to defend democracy.
There certainly were other threats at the time, but the Birch Society was seen by liberal critics, including the ADL, as a very secretive group that promoted conspiracy theories about communists who often became conflated with Jews.
Would you consider the ADL successful in its campaign against the Birchers?
They were successful. They used surreptitious and in some cases underhanded means to expose the antisemitism and the racism and also interest in violence or the violent rhetoric of the Birch Society in the 1960s.
The ADL was at the tip of the spear of a liberal coalition that included the White House, sometimes the Department of Justice, depending on the issue, the NAACP, Americans for Democratic Action, labor unions, the union-backed Group Research Inc., which was tracking the far-right as well. The ADL was one of the most, if not the most effective at constraining and discrediting the society.
Clearly, however, the Birchers’ ideas never died. They lived on and made a comeback.
It’s somewhat ironic that you reveal the existence of this spying apparatus devoted to targeting an extremist and antisemitic group in the 1960s given the infamy the ADL would earn in a later era, the 1990s, for allegations that they colluded with police agencies in San Francisco to spy on and harass political activists. They eventually settled with the Arab American, Black and American Indian groups that brought a federal civil suit. I know you didn’t study these revelations, which are outside the scope of your book, but could you perhaps reflect on why undercover tactics were seen as necessary or justified?
It’s important to remember that in the mid-20th century, law enforcement in the United States was often led by antisemites or people who were much more concerned with alleged internal communist threats — the threat from the left.
From the ADL’s vantage point, one could not rely on the government entities that were by law and by design supposed to protect Jewish Americans. There was a sense that this work had to be done, at least in part, outside of the parameters of the government.
When I first discovered the ADL’s spying, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. But I realized they weren’t just spying to spy, they exposed a lot of scary things, with echoes in our own times — like easy access to firearms, a hatred of the government, a denigration and defamation of minority groups. And this was all happening in the shadow of the Holocaust and World War II. I became much more sympathetic; they were very effective, and they had a vision of equality of treatment for all Americans.
It’s obviously controversial. I try not to shy away from it. But they had a lot of good reasons to fight back right and to fight back in this nonviolent way.
That last thought brings to mind another, right-wing Jewish group that existed in this era of taking things into our own hands, that did use violence, explosives even.
You mean the Jewish Defense League, led by Meir Kahane.
He was a Bircher. Toward the end of my book, I mention that he was a member for a while, under his alias Michael King.
Antisemitism is on the rise, and lots of initiatives are being organized to address it, both by existing groups like the ADL and new ones. The ADL’s budget has almost doubled over the past seven years. I am seeing Jews talk of fighting back and taking things into their own hands. And we are in this politically precarious movement in American history, all of which suggests parallels to the era you examined. What kind of wisdom can we glean from examining the ADL’s secret and public fight against the John Birch Society as people who care about the issues affecting Jews today?
A lot of liberals in the 1960s and a lot of the leadership at the ADL grasped the axiom that things can always get worse.
In 2015-2016, you’ll recall, there was Trump’s demonization of Mexican immigrants, and the so-called “alt-right” around him and his campaign and expressions of vitriol by people like Steve Bannon.
There was an assumption among a lot of Americans and among a lot of Jewish Americans that the fringe right — the antisemites, the explicit racists, the white supremacists — that there’s not a majority for them and they can never achieve power.
If you go back and you look at Trump’s closing 2016 campaign ad, it’s textbook antisemitism. He flashes on screen these wealthy Jewish international bankers, and he argues that basically, there’s a conspiracy of these global elites who are stealing the wealth of honest Americans. There’s also 2017, the white supremacists in Charlottesville, who said “Jews will not replace us” and Trump saying there are fine people on both sides.
The sense that democracy is incredibly fragile is not just a theory or a concept: It’s an actuality, the sense as well, that the United States has only been a multiracial democracy for not very long and a haven for Jews for not that long either.
The work that the ADL and the NAACP and other groups did to try to constrain and discredit as fringe and extremist still goes on today. It’s harder to do for all sorts of reasons today including social media and the loss of faith in institutions. But it still goes on. You see the importance of institutional guardrails including the Department of Justice that is prosecuting 1,000 Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
The last thing I’ll say is that one of the admirable things in the 1960s about the ADL and the liberal coalition it belonged to is that it built support for landmark legislation like the Immigration Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of ’65. And a coalition eventually fell apart, but it was powerful, reminding us why Jewish American groups should care about or focus on issues that don’t directly affect Jewish people.
City Journal has more in their review of Dallek’s book:
Dallek’s most significant contribution involves revealing a “previously undisclosed counterintelligence operation waged by the [Anti-Defamation League] to infiltrate and dig up damaging information about the John Birch Society.” He notes how the so-called Birch Watchers tried to bait JBS leaders by issuing racist statements in their presence and how they even “posed as disgruntled Birchers to infiltrate white supremacist groups and assess the society’s existing ties to them.” He reveals that, in addition to the FBI, the press received reports that compiled the most unflattering material and that the targets of such operations “sometimes found their careers in jeopardy.”
The code-name-using Birch Watchers included cops, bankers, and others privy to sensitive information. Dallek writes: “They obtained chapter membership lists, ran credit reports on individual Birchers, ferreted out their employment records, traced their financial transactions, wrote down their license plate numbers, obtained a codicil to a Bircher donor’s will, stumped them with tough questions during call-in radio shows, set up a Birch chapter meeting on false pretenses so an ADL target could be ‘interviewed,’ and studied their personal and professional associations. Some of the scariest or most unflattering bits ended up in the press.”
One suspects that some of the scariest or most unflattering bits did not end up in Dallek’s book. He notes in his acknowledgments that the ADL “kindly allowed me to review some of the historical records in its archives.” Someof the historical records?
All these years later, the ADL has basically merged with the FBI and together they’re using the same Stasi-like tactics to suppress the right.
Former FBI Director James Comey in 2014 delivered a speech which he described as “love letter” to the ADL and in 2017 he told ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt during another speech, “Three years later I can say, from the perspective of the FBI, we’re still in love with you.”
“You have advocated for voting rights and immigration issues,” Comey said. “You have fought against anti-Muslim prejudice and cyber bullying. You have stood up for LGBT and gender equality. You have pushed and prodded for hate crime legislation. And you have helped us identify and track domestic and international terrorist threats. And for all of that, we are grateful.”
The average American is a MAGA extremist who must be put on an FBI watchlist for speaking out against critical race theory at a school board meeting but the ADL and their “multi-dimensional counterintelligence operation” that’s used to subvert the will of the American people deserves nothing but praise!This post was originally published at Information Liberation
Democratic Mayor Of Dallas: “American Cities Need Republicans… & I’m Becoming One”
While the Democratic Mayor of Dallas says the city has thrived, Eric Johnson writes in a very frank WSJ op-ed that, elsewhere, Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness.
“The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism.
Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.”
As we have written in detail previously, cities governed by Democrat mayors have seen the largest increases in homicide rates over the past year as well as registered the highest homicide rate per capita in Q1 out of 45 cities, according to a new report.
Homicide rates in 45 of the most populated American cities rose by approximately 10 percent on average between Q1, 2021 and Q1, 2023, and continue to rise, according to an April 26 report by WalletHub. Blue cities were found to have a higher increase in homicide rates compared to red cities. The report designated a city as red or blue based on the mayor’s political affiliation.
The top five cities that saw the greatest increase in per capita homicide are Richmond, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; Durham, North Carolina; Garland, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
Except for Garland, where Mayor Scott LeMay is a Republican, the remaining four cities have mayors who are affiliated with the Democratic Party.
The highest homicide rate per capita in the first quarter of 2023 was in Memphis at 14.19 per 100,000 residents. New Orleans, Louisiana, came in second at 12.76, followed by Baltimore, Maryland, with 10.47, St. Louis, Missouri, with 9.91, and Detroit, Michigan, with 8.52.
Excluding St. Louis, the other four cities have mayors affiliated with the Democratic Party. The mayor of St. Louis, Tishaura Jones, was a former Democrat member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
“In other words,” the Dallas Mayor adds:
“American cities need Republicans – and Republicans need American cities.”
He is able to lift the ‘mask’ and see the problem that troubles so many of America’s cities.
“Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray… Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.”
Again, he nails it, daring to suggest the unmentionables that we have previously reported, Gregg W. Etter, a professor at the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri, blamed the tendency of politicians to seek “simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions to complex problems” as a reason behind the spike in homicides across the nation.
Politicians offer such solutions to gain favor with political interest groups during elections, he pointed out. For instance, when faced with the issue of police using force in isolated instances, such politicians might support defunding the police rather than dealing with problematic officers.
This ends up resulting in a less-effective police force, higher response times, lower morale among officers, and an “increasing unwillingness” to engage in proactive policing, he said.
“This has left many police forces in a strictly reactive mode, only responding to crimes that have already occurred. In addition, no-cash bail rulings have put many dangerous criminals back onto the streets even though they are arrested several times for violent crimes,” Etter said.
“In cities where these two things are happening, the crime rate has spiked. You have less police officers and more dangerous criminals at large.”
“Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living,” writes Johnson.
“And too many local Democrats insist on virtue signaling – proposing half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill – and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the state or federal level. Enough. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.”
He concludes, with a strong suggestion at the ballot box
“…the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices—not “progressive” echo chambers—at city hall.”
We can only imagine the anger raging among the leftists as this one man steps up and unleashes the terrible truth about liberal-run urbania. You’re not supposed to say any of that in your out-loud voice.
Is it time for change?Zero Hedge
Seattle Reverses Course, Makes Public Drug Use Arrestable Crime
According to KIRO7, public drug use can now end in arrest – though there remains a large effort to funnel drug users into treatment programs.
CB 120645 adds the crimes of using a controlled substance in public space and knowing possession of a controlled substance to the statute’s list of crimes. The move follows a Sept. 12 proposed ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee by a vote of 4-1.
Residents were sharply divided over the plan.
“There is no budget to support this and there is no plan, no care, compassion or commitment to do anything other than imprison our most vulnerable citizens,” said one woman during the public comment section during a committee meeting.
Others were for it.
“Restoring a safe and welcoming environment downtown will bring back residents, workers and visitors, increase the momentum needed to get downtown on a sustained path to recovery,” said one man.
The dissenting councilmember, Teresa Mosqueda, said the ordinance lacked attention to diversion efforts.
“I want people to get access to public health services just as much as the people who testified in support of this legislation say they want. But that is not what this legislation does. And without the funding that is purported to come with this bill, we have no assurances that there will be alternative structures and programs and diversion strategies to prevent people from going to jail. We do not have to pass this legislation,” she said.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Biden Stumbles on Flag, Fiddles with Earpiece in Awkward Press Conference with Brazil’s President Lula
The press conference featured multiple awkward moments.
President Joe Biden met with fellow socialist chief executive Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative on “workers’ rights” intended to promote the restructuring of their economies to fight alleged climate change.
The press conference following their engagement, the second of the year, featured multiple awkward moments between the two leaders, including an instance in which Lula appeared to expect a handshake from Biden, who turned his back and walked offstage (Biden had shaken Lula’s hand earlier during the press conference).
The beginning of the press conference also featured a moment in which Biden walked out without Lula and stumbled into a Brazilian flag.
Biden walks on stage without the Brazilian president, almost knocks down a flag, then does a little jog pic.twitter.com/JbrV7LBMpc— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 20, 2023
Biden delivered his remarks without incident, proclaiming his “the most pro-union administration in American history” and promising that the elimination of fossil fuels, gas-powered vehicles, and other staples of daily life in the name of combatting climate change would create more jobs and benefit workers.
“We will advance a worker-centric clean — a worker-centered clean energy transition. Folks, as I’ve told labor from the very beginning: When I think of climate change, I think of jobs,” Biden declared. “Jobs.”
Biden’s call to eliminate established conventional energy-based industries comes less than a week after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched a strike to demand fairer wages and worker contracts. The nearly 13,000 American automobile industry workers currently on strike are demanding significant wage increases of up to 40 percent, the return of contract provisions that ensure wages are adjusted according to inflation, and changes in the system that would allow new workers to make as much as workers serving longer but doing the same job, among other demands.
Pivotally, the workers seek protection in the face of Biden’s government dumping massive amounts of taxpayers’ money into electric vehicles and other “green” technology.
The demands for protection from inflation and “green” industrial reform are related: the $1.9-trillion “Inflation Reduction Act” provided millions in subsidies and offered preferential treatment for “green” energy projects, and, in spending so much money, significantly worsened America’s ongoing inflation woes.
UAW representatives have cited the subsidies and extensive bailout payments to major automobile companies as a reason they do not feel compelled to negotiate fairly with workers.
General Motors and Stellantis, two of the companies most directly affected by the strike, announced they would lay off over 2,000 workers on Wednesday as a result of the strike.
“Whether it’s your autoworkers or any other union worker, record corporation profits should mean record contracts for union workers,” Biden said alongside Lula on the same day.
When Lula took the podium to speak, Biden appeared to struggle to untangle his earpiece, meant for live translation of Lula’s comments from Portuguese to English.
🚨 | Tristes imágenes: Biden lucha durante un minuto para intentar ponerse unos audífonos, mientras comparte escenario con el socialista y enemigo declarado de EEUU, Lula da Silva: pic.twitter.com/6v7aMdpQJ2— Emmanuel Rincón (@EmmaRincon) September 20, 2023
The official White House transcript of their conversation shows Lula interrupting his opening statement and repeatedly asking Biden if he could hear his remarks:
PRESIDENT LULA: (As interpreted.) Well, first of all, I would like to greet President Biden and to say to President Biden —
Can you hear me, President Biden?
This is a historical moment for Brazil and for the U.S.
President Biden, can you hear me?
(President Biden nods.)
I — you can? Yes, good.
Technical difficulties ultimately solved, Lula used his remarks to condemn “neoliberal politics” for hurting the global labor movement and to enforce Biden’s claim that the elimination of entire core industries to resolve alleged climate change would result in a thriving economy for workers.
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