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Ron Paul: Palling Around With Terrorist…Financiers?

February 28, 2010

Excerpt from ‘The Coors Connection‘ by Russ Bellant

Edited by Bulldogger

Origins Of The CNP

The origins of the CNP are not found in mainstream conservatism or the traditional Republican Party but in the nativist and reactionary circles of the Radical Right, including the John Birch Society. The vie on the Radical Right that an organization such as CNP was needed stemmed from their perception that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – closely identified with the Rockefeller family – was selling out American interests in the pursuit of an imagined left-wing policy agenda. This conspiratorial critique was begun in earner about thirty years ago by the John Birch Society. In 1972, the Society promoted None Dare Call it Conspiracy, a book that identified the CFR as procommunist.

The CFR is more accurately described as a highly influential group of bankers, businessmen, academics, generals, and media representatives that has dominated U.S. foreign policymaking for decades. It has promoted a complicated Cold War strategy against the USSR during that period that employed psychological warfare and military encirclement. These measures were designed to be used in a carrot-and-stick fashion to cause the eventual diminution and dissolution of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.

The Radical Right, led the John Birch Society (JBS), preferred an even more confrontational approach with the USSR and the imposition of what amounted to fascist-style dictatorships on underdeveloped countries that showed signs of independence from U.S. influence or domination. The John Birch Society has probably been the foremost source of U.S. rightist propaganda in the last thirty years. It advocated repression at home and abroad for political expressions that challenged U.S. hegemony. It created confrontational politics along a whole range of local, national, and foreign policy issues.

In the 1960’s, the Society organized against the civil rights movement and widely circulated material portraying Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement as controlled by communists. Another JBS campaign fought sex education. The JBS, long run in a dictatorial manner, has warned repeatedly of the dangers of democracy. A New American essay entitled “This is a Republic Not a Democracy!” claims, “The central problem with the rise of unlimited democracy and universal suffrage is that the Whig relationship between property ownership and voting has been severed.” Books written several years after the 1958 founding of the JBS described it as a racist and anti-Semitic organization, although in recent years JBS has attempted to distance itself from those earlier views.

As the New Right grew in influence, the Birch Society, and many of it’s Old Right organizational allies, lost strength. Yet the Society still maintained significant influence on the right throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Wealthy businessmen such as Joe Coors gave money to the JBS, and his company bought ads in their publications. When Coors was a regent at the university of Colorado he distributed JBS literature to other regents.

In the 1970’s, Birch organizers created a single-issue front groups that helped build the base of the Radical Right. The Birch front groups fought against busing, sex education, taxes, gun control, police reform, civil rights, and women’s rights (especially the ERA and reproductive rights). The JBS groups sought to keep the U.S. in Vietnam and get it out of the United Nations. Before and after the 1980 campaign, the Birch Society and other Radical Right constituencies were wooed by the New Right. As Author Alan Crawford observes:

[T]he Birchers seem to have wormed their way back in along The frontier of the New Right. The New Right leaders seem to Welcome them. The Rightists may indeed feel more comfortable with the primitive Birchers than they do with National Review types, whom they regard as effete Easterners; indeed, when this author worked at Conservative Digest in 1975, the editors kept back copies of both Birch periodicals, American Opinion and the Review of the News, in the office, but not back copies of the more moderate conservative weekly Human Events.

The New Right played and important role in the 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan and sought to consolidate its gains by expanding its institutional presence in Washington, D.C. New Right leaders created the CNP in part to develop alternative foreign policy initiatives to oppose those offered by the Council on Foreign Relations. The CNP organizes support for confrontational polices long sought by Racial Rightists and ultra-conservatives hawks. Support for the “Reagan Doctrine” of so-called “low-intensity” warfare was one outgrowth of this effort. The CNP also addresses domestic social and cultural issues. In many foreign policy and domestic issues, the CNP frequently reflects a slick, updated repackaging of Birch Society philosophy.

The Birch influence on the political goals of the CNP is significant. The JBS was with CNP from the beginning. Nelson Bunker Hunt, mentioned earlier as a prime move in the CNP’s founding, was on the Birch Society’s national council. By 1984, John Birch Society Chairman A. Clifford Barker and Executive Council Member Willaim Cies were CNP members. Other JBS leaders also joined the Council. Five board member of Western Goals, essentially the JBS intelligence-gathering operation (and later used to funnel aid to the Contras), joined the CNP as well.

While it should not be argued that the CNP is a creation of the Birchers, its very existence is a testament to the success of the JBS goal of creating a rightist counterpoint to established power. The CNP has become a player in mainstream political life in the United States. Ambassadors, prominent public figures such as Milton Friedman, members of Congress and the executive branch have address CNP meeting. James Quayle, father of the Vice President, and other key political supports of Dan Quayle have been nominated for CNP membership, as the Council seeks to expand its influence.

The Conservative Caucus

Another New Right group with long-standing ties (and financial support from) Coors, is The Conservative Caucus (TCC), headed by Howard Phillips. The group is not truly conservative but is among the most radical of reactionary groups in the U.S. It claims 600,000 members, but that figure does not refer to dues-paying members, which is a smaller number. Inflated membership figures and a long list of names on the letter-head does not obscure the fact that the Conservative Caucus can only maintain a staff of five and an additional five on Phillip’s tax exempt Conservative Caucus Foundation.

The long list of TCC “Executive Advisory Board” members include Joe and Holly Coors. Joe Coors has been a longtime associate of the Conservative Caucus. In early 1977 he was a member of the Citizens Cabinet Organizing Committee, a TCC project which established a shadow cabinet in February 1977 to counter the incoming Carter Administration. Also on the Committee was Coors aide John McCarty, Heritage president Frank Walton, Paul Weyrich, Richard Viguerie, William Rusher, Larry McDonald, and Howard Phillips. The Committee was formed only months after Phillips, Rusher, Viguerie, and Weyrich had attempted to lead the Klan-infested American Independent Party. The alternative cabinet proposed by Coors and his allies had a number of John Birch Society figures and supporters among its twelve members, and Phillips continues working closely with the John Birch Society and its allies.

The Conservative Caucus (TCC) has been active on a range of issues since it was founded by Phillips in 1974. In the last several years, however, TCC has worked on souther Africa issues in alliance with the South African government. After the South African government signed accords which gave SWAPO the possibility of gaining power in Namibia and which obligated the apartheid regime to cut its support to Jonas Savimbis UNITA operation in Angola, the Conservative Caucus criticized the accords. TCC has sinced attacked the ruling Nationalist Party of South Africa of selling out to the Soviet Union. Phillips has recently quoted favorably the head of South Africa’s openly white-supremacist Conservative Party. TCC board member Don McAlvany works with military and police officials in South Africa who are perceived as supporting a harder line than the Nationalist Party. Phillips and McAlvany have organized numerous two-week trips to South Africa for Americans to meet top political party and business leaders as well as military intelligence officials who are not allowed into the United States. These trips are advertised in John Birch Society publications.

So committed is Phillips to the UNITA operation that he traveled to Jamba in Angola to meet with UNITA’s leader, Jonas Savimbi. He and Michael Johns of the Heritage Foundation tried to persuade Savambi to come to the U.S. in the spring of 1989 to lobby for continued U.S. funding of UNITA. (John was the editor of Jerry Falwell’s now-defunct Liberty Report while also and editor at the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Review.) Phillips lobbies the Bush Administration and Capitol Hill for UNITA. TCC attempts to counter critics of UNITA’s human rights abuses and has run newspaper ads on UNITA’s behalf. Phillips appears to advise Savambi regularly on how to lobby Congress and appears to follow Savambi’s wishes regarding strategy. Although it has widely lobbied in support of UNITA, the Conservative Caucus has chosen not to register as a foreign agent for UNITA.

Another Conservative Caucus board member and funder is Richard Shoff, a North Carolina businessman whose questionable business practices have brought him the attention of local newspapers, trade associations, and the Better Business Bureau. Shoff has also been involved in a number of lawsuits while running sales operations in Indiana and selling log homes from his company, Lincoln Log Homes, in North Carolina. Shoff also came to the attention of Klan watcher when he lived in Indianapolis. In the early 1970’s, he was the Grand Kilgrapp (state secretary) of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan. Indianapolis police told a report that KKK cross burnings were held on Shoff’s property during Klan rallies which were hosted by Shoff. According to the head of the Indiana KKK, Shoff was also a generous funder of Klan activities. Shoff claims he left the Ku Klux Klan in 1973.

Shoff is also on the board of Coalition for Freedom, a Jesse Helms group that receives funding from the Pioneer Fund which funds racialist research (eugenics). Shoff is one of a number of TCC leaders who are also members of the Council for National Policy. Other Conservative Caucus supporters and leaders who are also member or leaders of the Council for National Policy include Amway leader Richard DeVos, Louis Jenkins, and robert H. Krieble, John D. Beckett, and Joe and Holly Coors.

The Coors Family And The Contras

When the Reagan Administration began organizing the Nicaraguan Contras in 1981, allied but nominally private groups were formed to build support for the Contra plans.

One of those groups, formed after the first Reagan inauguration, was the U.S. Council for World Freedom (USCWF), headed by Major General John Singlaub. The USCWF quickly became the U.S. branch of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The USCWF began building support for the Reagan policy of aiding not only the Nicaraguan Contras but RENAMO and UNITA in southern Africa and rightist Islamic fundamentalist in Afghanistan. Singlaub informed Central Intelligence Agency director William Casey and National Security Council staff of his actions and operated with their assent, if not under their direction.

One of the early USCWF financial backer was Joe Coors, according to two former USCWF treasurers. Coors shared Reagan’s enthusiasm for the Contras despite earlier indications of the unsavory background of certain Contra leader and reliable reports of Contra acts of brutality. The contras were originally known as the 15th of September Legion. Their earliest training came from Argentinian military intelligence, which ran death squads in that country and sponsored a Latin American conference of death squad leader in 1980. That death squad network was also the Latin American branch of WACL. In 1982, Argentinian intelligence worked with Moon’s Unification Church and fugitive Nazi Klaus Barbie to establish a Nazi-style state in Bolivia.

Reliable international monitoring groups have reported that the Contras killed thousands of peasants, slaughtered cattle, and created terror in an apparent effort to undermined the confidence of the Nicaraguan people in their government. Contra project officers in Washington created a covert financial support apparatus run by Oliver North and his superiors. A public financial support apparatus coordinated by Singlaub was also tied into the White House. Joe Coors worked with both fundraising networks.

Joe Coors was one of the boosters of a big fundraising dinner for the Contras in 1985 arranged by the Nicaraguan Refugee Fund at which Reagan was the keynote speaker. The fund was set up by the Contras’ fundraising arm and promoted by a public relations firm whose founder has longstanding Central Intelligence Agency links.

Coors also contributed to the Nicaraguan Freedom Foundation (NFF), established by the Moon-owned Washington Times. Board members of NFF include Jeane Kirkpatrick, William Simon, and Michael Novak. Simon and Novak were on the board of PRODEMCA, which also funneled money to the Contras. Jeane Kirkpatrick and her husband Evron Kirkpatrick published a quarterly magazine, World Affairs, which has published an article endorsing the use of death squads.

The Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), whose Regent University is supported by the Coors Foundation and has Holly Coors on its board, was one of the largest donors to the Contra cause, giving millions of dollars to the Contras in Central American (the Nicaraguan Freedom Foundation funds went there as well). Christian Broadcast Network owner Pat Robertson held a telethon on May 30, 1985 to raise funds for the Contras.

Another active Contra support group was Citizens for America, cochaired by Lewis Lehrman and Holly Coors.  Citizens for America was formed in coordination with the White House in 1983 to build support for Reagan’s programs. In 1985, it organized a tour of twenty Contras to two hundred congressional districts to lobby for Contra funding. Lehrman also organized a June 2, 1985 meeting in Angola that brought together the Nicaraguan Contras, the South African-backed UNITA leaders, and similar rightist groups from around the world.

Other Coors-funded groups that have actively supported the Contras include the Heritage Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation, and the Conservative Caucus (TCC). TCC has said for example, “The Conservative Caucus has advocated a strategy of victory over Communism in Nicaragua from the very beginning – and we will continue to press for aid to the Contras, de-recognition of the Sandinistas….and a new government, friendly to the United States.

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