What is organized philanthropy and who benefits from it? Every grant-hungry university researcher hopes to cash in on philanthropy's largess. But who is on the receiving end of all those jargon-ridden proposals?
Few studies consider this question. The ones that do discover that philanthropists constitute a small, homogenous group aware of its own class interests. Teresa Odendahl, a professor who specializes in the study of private foundations, concludes that "contemporary American philanthropy is a system of `generosity' by which the wealthy exercise social control and help themselves more than they do others."
Francie Ostrower, a Harvard professor, interviewed 88 wealthy New York City donors. She found them clannish and self-important, often involved with their philanthropic activity in relation to social networks and personal attachments rather than to broad public policy concerns. They think they have a right to give their money away as they see fit, but that the government doesn't have a right to tax their money and spend it on the common good.
Odendahl is an anthropologist and Ostrower a sociologist; these disciplines have for decades produced studies based on the presumption of class differences. This presumption has its uses. A class analysis informs the best extant account of the secret history of philanthropy. Carroll Quigley, one of the great macro historians, received his Ph.D. from Harvard at age 23 (magna cum laude), and for 28 consecutive years, alumni at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service selected him as their most influential professor. Quigley could even boast of inside sources and connections, which he used to enlighten his readers rather than enhance his career.
Quigley's first book, The Anglo-American Establishment, was rejected by 15 publishers. It finally appeared 32 years later, after his death. His major work, Tragedy and Hope, supposedly went out of print immediately after publication in 1966, at which point Quigley's contract with Macmillan entitled him to recover the plates. Macmillan lied constantly to Quigley, and then admitted that they had "inadvertently" destroyed the plates. The 1,348 pages of Tragedy and Hope contain numerous nuggets that have long fascinated both right-wing and left-wing readers. Well-paid pundits may still dismiss it as "the conspiracy theory of history," but all Quigley did was to occasionally follow the big money, and tell it straight. To be sure, it's not the sort of narrative that usually surfaces in print. Here's a sampling of Quigley on the topic of foundations:
More than fifty years ago [circa 1914] the Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy, dominate, or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left- wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could "blow off steam," and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went "radical." There was nothing really new about this decision, since other financiers had talked about it and even attempted it earlier. What made it decisively important this time was the combination of its adoption by the dominant Wall Street financier, at a time when tax policy was driving all financiers to seek tax-exempt refuges for their fortunes, and at a time when the ultimate in Left-wing radicalism was about to appear under the banner of the Third International.
It was this group of people [the Wall Street allies of the Morgan Bank] whose wealth and influence so exceeded their experience and understanding, who provided much of the framework of influence which the Communist sympathizers and fellow travelers took over in the United States in the 1930s. It must be recognized that the power that these energetic Left-wingers exercised was never their own power or Communist power but was ultimately the power of the international financial coterie, and, once the anger and suspicions of the American people were aroused, as they were by 1950, it was a fairly simple matter to get rid of the Red sympathizers. Before this could be done, however, a congressional committee, following backward to their source the threads which led from admitted Communists like Whittaker Chambers, through Alger Hiss, and the Carnegie Endowment to Thomas Lamont and the Morgan Bank, fell into the whole complicated network of the interlocking tax-exempt foundations....
By the 1964 election, the major political issue in the country was the financial struggle behind the scenes between the old wealth, civilized and cultured in foundations, and the new wealth, virile and uninformed, arising from the flowing profits of government-dependent corporations in the Southwest and West.... These new sources of wealth have been based very largely on government action and government spending but have, none the less, adopted a petty- bourgeois outlook rather than the semiaristocratic outlook that pervades the Eastern Establishment. This new wealth, based on petroleum, natural gas, ruthless exploitation of national resources, the aviation industry, military bases in the South and West, and finally on space with all its attendant activities, has centered in Texas and southern California.
But the elites had a grander strategy: balkanizing the forces behind the antiwar movement into powerless, squabbling academic fiefdoms. (See "Multiculturalism and the Ruling Elite," NameBase NewsLine, Number 3, Oct.-Dec. 1993; http://www.namebase.net:82/newsline.03 on the Internet.) By the late 1970s, a politically-correct melange of minority and gender politics had supplanted 60s-style power-structure research. Soon the East Coast elite had done its work too well: the minority and gender movement they funded through their chosen foundations generated an unexpected elite backlash. The new money of the South and Southwest funded new foundations and think tanks that reset the national political agenda.
This story has seldom been told, and the few existing accounts need to be brought up to date. Twenty years ago, New Left leader Carl Oglesby borrowed slightly from Quigley and expanded on the Yankee and Cowboy dichotomy. The Yankee was symbolized by David Rockefeller, the Cowboy by Howard Hughes. Without putting too fine a point on it, Oglesby saw this as helpful in his analysis of recent conspiracies, from Dallas to Watergate. His book did not take sides: "My less bloody belief is that ordinary people all over the map, Northeast by Southwest, have a deep, simple, and common need to oppose all these intrigues and intriguers, whatever terms one calls them by and however one understands their development."
We can eagerly embrace Oglesby's "less bloody belief." Apart from occasional assassinations, it seems clear that neither Yankee nor Cowboy will ever really lose their war. To them it's something of a parlor game, played with other people's money and other people's sons. They care nothing about rice paddies and Agent Orange, nor about sand dunes and nerve gas. After a losing battle they retreat to their mansions and yachts with bruised egos, ready to play again another day. Unless the "ordinary people" tell them otherwise, this continues to be the only game in town.
This essay on foundations and philanthropy is more modest than Carl Oglesby's book on conspiracies. The major conspiracies since the 1960s, as well as the leaks that led to the Iran-contra scandal, were quite probably manifestations of the Yankee-Cowboy war. But the evidence, however tantalizing, is far from complete, through no fault of the hundreds of researchers who continue to pursue it. The fact that poorly-researched "lone nut" books consistently enjoy more attention from the major media than well-researched conspiracy books, is a reminder that Carroll Quigley's publishing problems were probably no accident.
But Oglesby's core analysis -- with its emphasis on struggles within elite circles -- provides a valuable context for making sense of the few existing attempts to investigate organized philanthropy. The U.S. Congress first looked at the new large foundations, such as Carnegie and Rockefeller, during the Walsh Commission hearings in 1915. The Rockefeller Foundation was not satisfied with the terms it was offered by Congress when it sought a federal charter in 1913. They then secured what they wanted from the New York state legislature, and the Sage and Carnegie foundations did the same. By "shopping" the states in this manner, the foundations were likely to get anything they wanted. Many who testified before Congress in 1915, including Louis D. Brandeis, expressed strong distrust of such large concentrations of wealth.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. testified for several days and was asked whether he saw any dangers in the interlocking directorates of foundations. "I should think on the other hand there might be a great strength in that," he replied, and went on to insist that the proper selection of directors would sufficiently protect the public interest, and no regulations were needed. The Walsh Commission was not impressed, and ended up recommending numerous measures. It took several more investigations and fifty years before Congress acted.
The Cox Committee of 1952 barely got off the ground before its mandate expired, so their work was continued the next year by the Reece Committee. Both committees spent much of their time examining the possibility of Communist penetration of foundations. Rene Wormser, general counsel of the Reece Committee, tried to steer more resources toward the study of interlocks and economic concentration, but opposition from Democrats proved formidable. Wormser wrote about his findings and experiences in 1958, a book which Carroll Quigley characterized as "shocked, but not shocking." What Quigley meant by this four-word book review is that the numerous interlocks between the top foundations are almost unbelievable to the uninitiated, but for anyone who has given it a closer look, it's a pattern so pervasive and consistent that it seems tedious to mention it.
Rep. Wright Patman of Texas took up the anti-foundation banner during the early 1960s. Patman was interested in self-dealing and tax avoidance by those who controlled foundations, and in foundations as mechanisms for the perpetual family control of corporate empires. Without such mechanisms, such control eventually dissipated through estate and inheritance taxes. The machinations of the major East Coast fortunes through the use of foundation cut-outs, and the legal loopholes this provided, represented unfair competition against the emerging wealth of the South. This is what motivated Patman.
The Walsh Commission was rooted in populist progressivism, while the Cox and Reece Committees were partisan efforts that only peripherally sought to address the concentration of economic and political power. Patman, on the other hand, can be seen as one of the early salvos in the Yankee-Cowboy war. The battle lines of this war were drawn more clearly by 1964, when Goldwater supporters hissed and booed Nelson Rockefeller.
Patman's findings were confirmed by a Treasury Department report issued in 1965, in response to a joint request by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. At long last, the Tax Reform Act of 1969 curtailed many of the questionable practices with new regulations, restrictions, and reporting requirements. The foundations immediately began organizing in opposition to these new measures. While Congress did some backtracking with the Revenue Act of 1976 and the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, most of the 1969 reforms remain in place today.
The interlocking nature of foundation power was not pursued, nor even much noticed, once the Reece Committee expired in 1954. The 1969 Act covered self-dealing, corporate control, and tax avoidance within a foundation, but ignored the concentration of power between the foundations.
This became important once it was clear that the 1969 prohibition against foundation lobbying would be interpreted permissively. Lobbying on pending legislative proposals, and electioneering for specific issues or candidates is discouraged, but general legislative advocacy is not. Today, for example, the Heritage Foundation can flood Congress with reports on the need for welfare reform as an "informational service," but once a bill is pending they are careful not to recommend a particular vote. With enough money and media contacts, Heritage ends up defining the issues and the legislative agenda, if not the vote count. The former is arguably more effective in the long run.
The interlock problem is conspicuous for another reason, one which has never been addressed by Congress. It seems that certain huge Yankee foundations, namely Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie, have been conscious instruments of covert U.S. foreign policy, with directors and officers who can only be described as agents of U.S. intelligence. According to Quigley, the roots for this can be traced to the establishment of an American branch of the British Royal Institute in 1921, which itself had grown out of the Rhodes Trust. The American branch, called the Council on Foreign Relations, was a largely a front for J. P. Morgan and Company.
Since then, almost every important figure in American foreign policy, both covert and overt, has been closely involved with what Council member Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. termed in 1965 "the American Establishment," whose "household deities were Henry L. Stimson and Elihu Root; its present leaders, Robert A. Lovett and John J. McCloy; its front organizations, the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations and the Council on Foreign Relations; its organs, the New York Times and Foreign Affairs...." In the early 1950s it was a $2.5 million grant from Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie that made the Council the dominant private agency in the field of foreign relations.
Covert foreign policy became the standard mode of operation after World War II, which was also when Ford Foundation became a major player for the first time. The institute most involved in classified research was Rand Corporation, set up by the Air Force in 1948. The interlocks between the trustees at Rand, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations were so numerous that the Reece Committee listed them in its report (two each for Carnegie and Rockefeller, and three for Ford). Ford gave one million dollars to Rand in 1952 alone, at a time when the chairman of Rand was simultaneously the president of Ford Foundation.
The Ford Foundation was deeply involved in covert actions in Europe during the early years of the Cold War, working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects. Richard Bissell was a Ford Foundation staff member in 1953, when he left suddenly to became a special assistant to the director of the CIA. When the Congress for Cultural Freedom was exposed as CIA-funded in 1967, Ford took over its funding. In the early 1960s, Ford was involved in training elites in Indonesia.
The career of McGeorge Bundy was not unusual in these elite circles: Yale degree in 1940, army intelligence during World War II, policy analyst for the Council on Foreign Relations from 1948-49, Harvard dean from 1953-61, special assistant to the President for national security from 1961-66 (during the buildup in Vietnam), president of the Ford Foundation from 1966-79, and with Carnegie from 1990 until his death in 1996. His brother William P. Bundy was at the CIA from 1951-61, and edited the CFR journal Foreign Affairs from 1972-84.
McGeorge Bundy oversaw the early Ford funding for multiculturalism. When Henry Ford II resigned from the board of trustees in 1976 because he lacked the strategic vision to understand what was going on, Bundy, in an interview, "agreed that everything the Foundation did could be regarded as `making the world safe for capitalism' -- reducing social tensions by helping to comfort the afflicted, provide safety valves for the angry, and improve the functioning of government." (Twenty years later it looks as if Bundy's program at Ford will someday join his Vietnam policy in the dust bin of history.)
The covert side of Rockefeller Foundation receded after Nelson Rockefeller's death in 1979. Nelson, with the help of Hoover's FBI, was in charge of all U.S. intelligence in Latin America during World War II. After the war he artfully meshed his spook connections with his far-flung monopoly interests. His associate in Brazil, Col. J. C. King, became CIA chief of clandestine activities in the Western Hemisphere. When Nelson Rockefeller was appointed by Eisenhower to the National Security Council in 1954, his job was to approve various covert operations. This is when Nelson began his long association with Henry Kissinger.
During the 1950s, Rockefeller Foundation helped the CIA fund their MK-ULTRA mind control research, and supported early efforts to legitimize Ngo Dinh Diem as the leader of South Vietnam. Cold War heavies John J. McCloy and Robert A. Lovett were Rockefeller trustees. In 1950, OSS veteran Charles B. Fahs became head of the Foundation's division of humanities. His assistant there, another OSS veteran named Chadbourne Gilpatric, came to Rockefeller Foundation directly from the CIA.
Secretaries of state have frequently been foundation officers. Dean Rusk went from the State Department after the war, to the presidency of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1952-60, and then back to State for eight years as secretary. John Foster Dulles was a trustee at Rockefeller the same time that he was chairman at Carnegie. Other secretaries of state from the foundations included Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Henry L. Stimson, Frank B. Kellogg, and Charles Evans Hughes.
This is only a sampling to show that when Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford get behind something, we should watch our backs. It's more than a few wayward foundation bureaucrats on an ego trip; quite possibly there are long-range strategies involved that the "less bloody" among us should consider. The 1960s, between the assassinations and Vietnam, finally blew the whistle on some of the gray men behind U.S. policy. Beginning in 1966, the entire nexus of academia, covert operations, and globalist foundations started to unravel, after exposure by left-wing anti-imperialists, right- wing anti-globalists, and even the occasional journalist.
Over 100 foundations were named as CIA conduits in 1967. Wright Patman created a one-day storm when he blurted out the names of several CIA foundations in 1964; he was upset that the CIA had kept the IRS from pursuing possible tax violations. But it took two more years before the CIA was even considered an issue by our sleepy mainstream press. Left-wing muckrakers began connecting the dots dropped by Patman. Ramparts magazine exposed the use of Michigan State University by the CIA to train Vietnamese police, and a year later scooped up another big smelly one -- CIA funding of the National Student Association.
Even Gloria Steinem, who helped set up the CIA's Independent Research Service in 1959, was eventually on the defensive. A radical feminist group called "Redstockings" published their research on Steinem and "Ms." magazine in 1975. Four years later, Random House was preparing an edition of Redstockings' "Feminist Revolution." Steinem, Clay Felker (who launched "Ms." and once worked for Steinem's CIA front), Katharine Graham, Warner Communications (Graham and Warner were major "Ms." stockholders), and Ford Foundation president Franklin A. Thomas complained to Random House. The offending chapters were deleted.
Ford Foundation began supporting women's studies programs on campus in 1972, and by 1975 was also supporting the National Organization for Women, and Women's Action Alliance (Franklin Thomas was on the board of WAA). Mariam Chamberlain, a former program officer at the Ford Foundation, estimates that Ford donated $24 million to women's studies projects from 1972 to 1992. Rockefeller Foundation also funds women's studies, minority studies, and gay and lesbian studies, but much of their support for marginalism and multiculturalism is funneled into the arts rather than the humanities. This year Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie gave grants to organizations working against the California Civil Rights Initiative, a ballot measure that would bar race preferences in state employment, contracts, and college admissions.
From the perspective of this short history of foundations, Quigley's statements about Wall Street buying into progressivism seem tame. More importantly, this history explains Reagan and the 1980s, which were a counter-offensive against the Eastern aristocracy. In the 1950s the right of corporations to make tax-deductible donations became firmly established, yet it wasn't until the 1970s that corporate Cowboy pocketbooks, along with a dozen or so Cowboys and converts with family fortunes, began a wholesale challenge to the Yankees. Until then the corporations were tithing to Eastern managerialism through those filthy-rich New York law firms, but their hearts weren't in it. Time for a change.
The differences began emerging around 1967. Yankees had second thoughts on Vietnam -- it was their war, after all, even though once it was going, the Cowboys were pleased to round up the defense contracts. Old Money thinks strategically when they think at all; theirs was a case of the jitters over the generation gap at home, stoned soldiers in Vietnam "fragging" their officers, the emerging inflation from an unfinanced war, and the damage to our "bilateral relations" (fellow aristocrats across the Atlantic). Cowboys, on the other hand, shoot from the hip. They wanted B-1 bombers and Star Wars, and when those toys broke they robbed the Savings and Loans.
By the late 1980s there were a hundred policy research groups in Washington. Almost all were conservative -- even those such as Brookings that were once thought of as liberal -- and nearly two-thirds had been established since 1970. It was as if galloping Cowboys surrounded both of Washington's goalposts, plucked them out of the ground, and replanted each of them downfield in the direction of free-market capitalism. The Yankees were able to get off only one shot, by leaking information that led to the Iran-contra scandal.
Easterners had scrambled for cover by backing first Jimmy Carter and then Bill Clinton -- both Easterners in southern costume, who obediently stacked the White House with Trilateralists and Rhodes scholars. But it was too late. Carter went in talking about energy conservation in front of the fireplace, and went out committed to a new defense buildup. Twelve years later Clinton went in talking about health care and job training, and ended up signing off on welfare reform.
Everyone acknowledges that since the 1960s, liberalism has been a basket case. But most lack the infrastructural instincts of a Carroll Quigley or a Carl Oglesby. The best book on think tanks is by James A. Smith, a scholarly tanker himself, who traces the history of policy- research institutions. The most he can say is that liberalism suffered from a methodological identity crisis after the 1960s, whereupon the "ideas have consequences" crowd of neo-conservatives rushed in to fill the void. Smith worries that "the expert class has interposed itself between the average citizen and the deliberations of government." As Quigley would say, "shocked, but not shocking."
This essay takes another view: Whenever and wherever big money is on the move, with interlocks to other big money as well as to the secret state, we would do well to agree with Oglesby: "Clandestinism is not the usage of a handful of rogues, it is a formalized practice of an entire class in which a thousand hands spontaneously join. Conspiracy is the normal continuation of normal politics by normal means."
1. Teresa Odendahl, Charity Begins at Home: Generosity and Self-Interest Among the Philanthropic Elite (New York: Basic Books, 1990), p. 245.
2. Francie Ostrower, Why the Wealthy Give: The Culture of Elite Philanthropy (Princeton University Press, 1995), 190 pages.
3. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966), p. 938.
4. Ibid., pp. 954-55.
5. Ibid., pp. 1245-46.
6. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War: Conspiracies From Dallas to Watergate (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1976), p. 14.
7. Rene Wormser, Foundations: Their Power and Influence (Sevierville TN: Covenant House Books, 1993), 412 pages. First published in 1958 by Devin-Adair in New York, and reprinted in 1977 by Angriff Press.
8. Quigley, p. 955.
9. Ferdinand Lundberg, The Rich and the Super-Rich (New York: Bantam Books, 1969). Chapter 10, titled "Philanthropic Vistas: The Tax- Exempt Foundations" (pp. 465-530), describes the Patman investigations.
10. Quigley, p. 952.
11. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days (Boston, 1965), p. 127, as quoted in Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977), p. 63.
12. G. William Domhoff, The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), p. 115. See also Leonard Silk and Mark Silk, The American Establishment (New York: Avon Books- Discus, 1981), notably pp. 104-52 about the Ford Foundation and pp. 183-225 about the Council on Foreign Relations.
13. Wormser, pp. 65-66.
14. Sallie Pisani, The CIA and the Marshall Plan (Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas, 1991), 188 pages; Eric Thomas Chester, Covert Network: Progressives, the International Rescue Committee, and the CIA (Armonk NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), 265 pages.
15. Peter Coleman, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (New York: The Free Press, 1989), pp. 224-27.
16. David Ransom, "Ford Country: Building an Elite for Indonesia." In Steve Weissman, ed., The Trojan Horse: A Radical Look at Foreign Aid (Palo Alto CA: Ramparts Press, 1975), pp. 93-116.
17. Associated Press, "JFK aide Bundy dies at 77," as published in Washington Times, 17 September 1996, p. A3; Who's Who in America, 47th edition, 1992-93.
18. Who's Who in America, 43rd edition, 1984-85.
19. Silk and Silk, pp. 147-49.
20. Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done -- The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 221, 265-69.
21. Who's Who in America, 43rd edition, 1984-85.
22. Who's Who in America, 26th edition, 1950-51.
23. Lundberg, pp. 482-83.
24. Facts on File, 1967, pp. 79-80. This lists all the foundations, mainly by summarizing reports from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Congressional Quarterly from February 14-25, 1967.
25. The Ramparts exposures of 1966 (MSU) and 1967 (NSA) are recounted by editor Warren Hinckle, If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990), pp. 164-80. The role of the foundations in international studies was explored by David Horowitz, "Sinews of Empire," Ramparts, October 1969, pp. 32-42. The 1968 student strike at Columbia University produced a revealing look at the CIA connections on their campus in North American Congress on Latin America, Who Rules Columbia -- Original 1968 Strike Edition, 1968, 40 pages.
26. Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy, The Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-4, 727.
27. Redstockings, Press Release, with attached articles from Feminist Revolution, 9 May 1975, 23 pages.
28. CounterSpy, Vol. 4, No. 1, Winter 1980, pp. 6-7.
29. Evan Gahr, "Looking at Philanthrophy [sic]: Paymasters of the PC Brigades," Wall Street Journal, 27 January 1995.
30. William Rusher, "Funding racial preference," Washington Times, 12 July 1996, p. A19.
31. While Iran-contra certainly deserved to be exposed, there's no question that it was fed with inside leaks. Jack Terrell, a contra defector who ended up working for Sandinista supporters in Washington, revealed that his hot anti-contra tips came from a "Mr. Smith" located somewhere inside of U.S. intelligence. See Jack Terrell with Ron Martz, Disposable Patriot (Bethesda MD: National Press Books, 1992). And Defense Intelligence Agency operative Lester K. Coleman claimed that the story in Beruit's Arabic-language Al Shiraa about TOW missiles that ran on 3 November 1986, and was picked up immediately by the Western press, was hand-delivered to Beruit by Coleman, operating under DIA instructions. See Donald Goddard with Lester K. Coleman, Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to Lockerbie -- Inside the DIA (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1993), pp. 134-36.
32. James A. Smith, The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite (New York: The Free Press, 1993), p. 238.
33. Oglesby, pp. 27-28.
An awareness of obscure connections can go some distance toward making our history comprehensible. Almost all accounts of recent U.S. social and cultural history have been written by micro scholars on someone's payroll, rather than by macro historians who accept that many facts are hidden. The 1960s still mean something to those of us who contributed, but to judge from the popular history of the period, it consisted of little more than lone nuts, hippies, drugs, and rock music. A more specific example of historical cover-up is the major media's willingness to accept the current White House at face value.
One happy exception is a biography of the Clintons, Roger Morris's Partners in Power, that made the bestseller list for several weeks during the summer of 1996. It confirmed a story that was rumored since 1992 (and appeared in Spotlight newspaper) to the effect that the CIA recruited Bill Clinton when he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. Ironically, by this time Clinton was already an admirer of Carroll Quigley, his professor at Georgetown (see the main essay for comments on Quigley).
Morris was an aide to Kissinger at the National Security Council until 1970, when he resigned over the bombing of Cambodia. His is the most solid and responsible book on the Clintons so far. Morris cited three inside intelligence sources who confirmed that Bill Clinton became a CIA asset at Oxford.
By running Clinton's Oxford classmates through NameBase, another curious CIA connection pops out: Richard Stearns, who may have handled Clinton's CIA recruitment. On September 9, 1969, Clinton wrote to Stearns agonizing over his draft situation. At that time he was manipulating every angle and connection he could to avoid getting drafted.
That fall Clinton went to Norway. In December he traveled to Moscow, then to Prague in January 1970. These trips, some believe, were CIA- sponsored. In spring of 1970, Clinton and Stearns took a bus tour of Spain. By then Clinton's draft problems were over, due to the December 1969 draft lottery.
In 1967, Ramparts magazine exposed the fact that the National Student Association had been receiving CIA funds for many years. Stearns was international vice president of the NSA. Allard Lowenstein was a former NSA president, who was famous for the "Dump Johnson" campaign of 1967. He stated then that he had not been involved with the CIA while in the NSA. However, Roger Morris told this writer that Lowenstein admitted to him in 1969 that he had been knowledgeable and complicit in the CIA compromise of the NSA. At this time, Morris was an NSC aide specializing in Africa, and Lowenstein was a New York congressman working on the humanitarian problem in Biafra.
Richard Stearns and Edward Schwartz, another NSA vice president, issued statements deploring CIA support. Schwartz was probably aware of the CIA funding, because he tried to talk Ramparts editor Warren Hinckle out of breaking the story before the exposure. As international vice president, Stearns almost certainly was witting of the connection with the CIA: most of the CIA money was spent on the NSA's international activities. While at the NSA in December 1966, Stearns wrote to the UAW to propose a "program of aid conducted by American labor and students, for students in Spain working for the restoration of democratic government." This would have involved CIA funds from the NSA's International Commission, which was headed by Stearns. The international activities of U.S. labor were also CIA-funded at the time.
At a window of opportunity in the middle of Clinton's draft problems, we have him in a close relationship with Stearns at Oxford. Stearns had all the CIA connections anyone would have needed at that time, and the CIA was in the habit of securing exemptions for its assets. In a summer 1969 meeting with Willard Hawkins, the Selective Service head in Arkansas, Clinton agreed to "serve his country in another capacity later on" if the July 28 induction order could be lifted. Clinton was clearly working various angles simultaneously.
One approach may have been an arrangement through Stearns to do some globe-trotting for the CIA. If such a commitment was made by Clinton, he would have followed through even after he was out of danger from the draft. It's one thing to blow off someone in Arkansas after you get a high lottery number, but something else to blow off the CIA and the well-connected Rick Stearns, particularly if you want to be president someday.
In 1970-1972, Stearns played a major role in placing Clinton in the McGovern campaign, thereby nurturing Clinton's political ambitions. Today Stearns is a judge in Boston. Before Louis Freeh was selected, he was considered by the White House as a possible appointee to head the FBI.
Morris includes a chapter on Clinton's cooperation with drug-running and money-laundering operations at Mena, Arkansas during the 1980s. If Clinton was recruited by the CIA at Oxford, it explains why he would tolerate a CIA laundry in Arkansas -- he was already compromised by his past association.
Ambitious young men don't "just say no" when the CIA comes calling. The CIA knows how to plant stories, spin the media, and set up scandals that can sink a candidate. Just ask Gary Hart, a 1988 candidate who for thirteen years had questioned the official version of the Kennedy assassination. Hart's presidential campaign was instantly derailed by the Donna Rice affair. In 1992, Clinton had a more serious bimbo problem than Hart ever had, but it never became a media issue.
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