Skip to content

WACL, Moonstruck & Singlaub’s Warriors

March 15, 2010

An excerpt from Washington’s War on Nicaragua:

World Anti-Communist League

While researching their book on the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), journalists Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson received a letter from a former League member: “In considering the World Anti-Communist League you have entered a world of ideological fanaticism, racialism, ignorance and fear which is almost beyond the comprehension of the average American…Your subject matter is a collection of oriental fascists, militarists, rightwing terrorists who put bombs in civilian aircraft, death squads, assassins, criminals and many people who are as opposed to democracy as they are communism.”

With chapters now in over 90 countries on six continents, WACL was founded in 1966 by two dictatorships, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), which united East European fascists who were valued for their anti-communism and resettled in the West with the aid of the Vatican and U.S. and British intelligence. Formed with U.S. government funds, the ABN is described as “the largest and most important umbrella for Nazi collaborations in the world.”

The late Yaroslav Stetsko, chairman of the ABN and a longtime WACL leader, met with President Reagan in the White House in 1983. The Ukrainian Stetsko assisted in the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and led the occupation of Lvov. “During the period in which Stetsko was in Lvov and, by his own claim, in charge of the city, and estimated seven thousand residents, mostly Jews, were murdered.”

Latter-day fascist Roberto D’Aubuisson, a League member, once told German reporters that he admired Hitler because, “your Europeans had the right idea. You saw the Jews were behind communism and you started to kill them.”

The World Anti-Communist League is an outgrowth of the Asian Peoples Anti-Communist League, formed in 1954, also with U.S. government support, by the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) and Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang (KMT). In 1947, before losing to Mao on the Chinese mainland, Chiang’s forces crushed an independence movement on the occupied Formosa (Taiwan) with a massacre of some 20,000 people.

Taiwan became a laboratory for “total and unconventional warfare.” It established a Political Warfare Cadres Academy – D’Aubuisson is a graduate – with the assistance of WACL associate Ray Cline, who was CIA station chief in Taiwan from 1958 to 1962, then CIA deputy director for intelligence, State Department director of intelligence and founder of the U.S. Global Strategy Council. U.S. military personnel taught at the academy, drawn largely from the U.S. Military Group stationed in Taiwan.

In Latin America, WACL’s affiliates formed the Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL). In 1974, CAL introduced a resolution at WACL’s annual conference seeking the overthrow of the U.S. government, which was considered soft on communism, and installation of a military junta. CAL was organized by the Mexican Tecos, whose leaders were the principal authors of the 1962 Complot Contra La Iglesia (Conspiracy Against The Church). A response to the liberalism of Vatican Council II, the Complot has been called “one of the most scathingly anti-semitic and unabashedly pro-Nazi tracts ever written.”

Liberation theology has been a prime CAL target. In 1975, Bolivia formulated the Banzer Plan (named after then dictator Hugo Banzer) which, as journalists Penny Lemoux explains, aimed “to smear, arrest, expel, or murder and dissident priest of bishop in the Bolivian Church.” The CIA assisted Bolivia by providing personal data, names of friends, addresses, writings, contacts abroad, and other intelligence on certain priests. Between 1975 and 1978, twelve foreign missionaries were arrested in Bolivia and half of them deported. Iowan missionary Father Raymond Herman was murdered in his parish rectory in October 1976. In El Salvador death squads killed Father Rutilio Grande and Alfanso Navarro in 1977. The “White Warriors’ Union” took responsibility for Navarro’s murder and issued the slogan: “Be a patriot! Kill a priest!”

The attack on liberation theology was regionalized when ten countries backed the Banzer Plan at the 1977 conference in Paraguay. WACL adopted a “priest tracking” resolution in 1978. Between 1964 (the year of the military coup in Brazil) and 1978, at least 79 priests, bishops, religious (members of religious orders) and well known Christian lay leaders were killed in Latin America, many of them between 1975 and 1977. Argentina, El Salvador and Honduras led the murders in that period. The killing has continued.

The chairman of the WACL and head of the U.S. chapter during the late 1970s was Roger Pearson, a well-connected white supremacist, eugenicist and neo-Nazi, who reportedly “once bragged to an associate about his alleged role in hiding Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.” As editor of the Liberty Lobby magazine, Western Destiny, Pearson wrote in 1965: “Our Race can only survive if we can prevent them [Jews and blacks] from capturing the minds, morals and souls of our children.” By the mid 1970s, he was serving on the editorial boards of the Heritage Foundation and the American Security Council.

Under Pearson’s guidance WACL added Western European chapters composed of Nazi collaborators, neo-Nazis and rightwing terrorists – from the racist British League of Rights to Giorgio Almirante’s Italian Social Movement, whose members included Pino Rauti, founder of the outlawed Ordine Nuovo. Rauti’s former deputy, Elio Massagrande, attended WACL’s 1979 conference in Paraguay while “high on Interpol’s list of wanted fugitives.” As tensions rose with the non-fascist European chapters, Pearson was asked to resign in 1980. The American chapter was then headed by Elmore D. Greaves, organizer of Mississippi’s segregationist Citizens Council during the 1960s.

In April 1982, Pearson received a letter from President Reagan, which he used to solicit donation and subscriptions to his magazines. “Your substantial contributions to promoting and upholding those ideals and principles that we value at home and abroad are greatly appreciated,” Reagan wrote. The Letter was not repudiated even after White house officials were informed on Pearson’s background.


WACL provided a strong base for the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, which is closely tied to the KCIA. Known for its totalitarian indoctrination of young people (in 1982, Moon arranged 2,000 couples at random for marriage in a mass ceremony at Madison Square Garden), in the 1940s Moon’s frst church practiced the ritual of “blood separation”: female church members “were required to have sexual relations with Moon, to clear themselves of ‘the taint of Satan.’

The Unification Church supposedly left WACL in 1975 when Moon denounced it as fascist after a frustrated takeover attempt. But Moon continued to be represented by the powerful Japanese Unification Church through its front group, Shokyo Rengo (Victory Over Communism), founded by such men as the late Yoshio Kodama, leader of the Japanese organized crime syndicate, the Yakuza, and Ryoichi Sasakawa, who has described himself as the “world’s wealthiest fascist.”

WACL members work for the Unification Church in support of the contras through Moonie affiliates like CAUSA (Confederation of Associations for the Unity [originally Unification] of the Societies of America) was founded in 1980 by Colonel Bo Hi Pak, the former KCIA operative who is Moon’s top deputy, and Kim Sang In, former KCIA station chief in Mexico City. CAUSA’s first executive director was Warren Richardson, formerly general counsel to the Liberty Lobby.

Moonie Connections with the U.S. right and the Reagan administration are extensive. For example, retired Major General Daniel Graham, a member of CAUSA USA’s advisory board, heads the Star Wars lobby group, High Frontier. F. Lynn Bouchey, president of the Council for Inter-American Security and member of the Committee of Santa Fe, helped organize two CAUSA conferences. Washington Times editor Arnaud de Bochgrave serves on Ray Cline’s U.S. Global Strategy Council, a Reagan advisory group. The Strategy Council’s executive director is retired General E. David Woellner, president of CAUSA World Services. Washington Times columnists include Ray Cline’s son–in-law Roger Fontaine, a Committee of Santa Fe member and former Reagan Latin America adviser, and Jeremiah O’Leary, formerly special assistant to National Security Adviser William Clark.

Moon money has become a major source of nourishment for New Right leaders and organizations. The Unification Church contributed $775,000 in 1984 to the Conservative Alliance (CALL), a non-profit lobbying group headed by the late John “Terry” Dolan who also led the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) and served on the CAUSA USA’s advisory board. Direct mail fundraiser Richard Viguerie was bailed out of debt in 1987 when Bo Hi Pak’s U.S. Property Development Corporation purchased Viguerie’s Virginia headquarters. Viguerie has served on the board of the Moon-dominated American Freedom Coalition (AFC) which was his biggest new direct-mail client as of December 1987.

Moon’s quest for global theocracy is no secret. In 1978, a House subcommittee tracing the Unification Church’s connections with the South Korean Security and intelligence forces quoted Moon: “If we manipulate seven nations at least…the U.S., England, France, Germany, Soviet Russia and maybe Korea and Japan…then we can get a hold of the whole world.”

By the time Moon was released from a U.S. prison in the summer of 1985 after serving a year-long sentence for perjury and falsification of documents, his image had been dramatically rehabilitated. His supporters claimed he was unjustly imprisoned for “tax evasion” and people of diverse political backgrounds saw him as a persecuted religious leader. Rightwing Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) lauded Moon for providing American youth with “a religious alternative to Communism.”

In January 1987 “God’s Day” speech, Moon showed his image may have mellowed, but not his views: “Without knowing it, even President Reagan is guided by Father [Moon]. History will make the position of [Reverend] Moon clear and his enemies, the American population and government will bow down to him. That is Father’s tactic, the natural subjugation of the American government and population.”

Reagan administration-Moonie ties are extensive enough that an analyst for the Pentagon-funded Institute of Defense Analysis warned of the effects their expose could have on the 1984 elections: “Current Moonie involvement with government officials, contractors and grantees…could create a major scandal…If efforts are not taken to stop their growing influence and weed out current Moonie involvement in government, the President stands a good chance of being portrayed in the media as a poor, naive incompetent.” As it turned out, Mooniegate was just one more scandal Reagan avoided in the years preceding the Iran-contra Revelations.

Singlaub’s WACL Warriors

Retired Major General John Singlaub organized the current American WACL chapter, the United Stated Council for World Freedom (USCWF), in 1981 with a loan of nearly $20,000 from Taiwan. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, it received tax-exempt status in 1982. Daniel Graham became USCWF vice chairman and advisory board members have included General Lewis Walt, former commander of Marine Corps forces in Vietnam; John Fisher, former president of the American Security Council; Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus; Andy Messing, head of the National Defense Council; and lawyer Fred Schlafly, husband to longtime rightwing activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Singlaub served from 1983 to 1986 as chairman of the World Anti-Communist League. (He was succeeded by former Belgian Defense Minister Jose Desmarets, who has warned against the “subtle forms” of communism: “ecology, pacifism and neutralism.”) Singlaub remains chairman of the USCWF. Under Singlaub’s leadership WACL became more action oriented. Committees were formed to support counterrevolution in eight countries: Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambuique, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In 1987, Singlaub became increasingly involved in counterinsurgency in the Philippines, where CAUSA is also active.

“Jack” Singlaub has a long history of involvement in covert operations, beginning with the World War II Office of Strategic Studies (OSS). He served as CIA desk officer for China in 1949 and deputy station chief in South Korea during the Korean War. During the Vietnam War he commanded the Special Operations Group – Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observation Group (MACVSOG) – which carried out the Phoenix operation responsible for the assassinations of 20,000 to 41,000 Vietnamese. In 1976, Singlaub became head of the U.S. command in South Korea. He was removed by President Carter in 1978, when he publicly opposed Carter’s plans to withdraw most U.S. troops, and retired from the military in 1980. In 1984, Singlaub chaired a special Pentagon panel on the war in El Salvador and also became a key player in the contra supply network.

Anderson and Anderson describe WACL as “the international fraternity of the practitioners of unconventional war, old and new” – from the Nazis to South Africa to Latin America. As defined by Singlaub, “The term ‘unconventional war’ includes, in addition to terrorism, subversion and guerilla warfare, such covert and non-military activities as sabotage, economic warfare, support to resistance groups, black and gray psychological operations, disinformation activities, and political warfare.” Singlaub would help make sure the United States did not “lack the capability and will to exercise [this] third option for our own defense, to take pressure off any ally, or to exploit to our advantage the many vulnerabilities that now exist in the Soviet Empire.”

The unconventional warriors practice their trade inside the United States as well, carrying on the political spying and militaristic propaganda that General Smedley Butler confronted decades ago. Singlaub served until 1984 on the advisory board of Western Goals, founded in 1979 by the late Rep. Larry McDonald (D-GA), board member and then chairman of the John Birch Society. As investigative journalist Chip Berlet explains, Western Goals “was essentially a cover for the continued domestic political spying of the John Birch Society. It’s chief spymaster was John Rees. The late Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy’s right-hand lawyer, served on the Western Goals advisory board, served on the Western Goals advisory board, along with retired military officers such as General Lewis Walt and Admiral Thomas Moorer. The Western Goals data bank included files accessed by McDonald as head of the now-defunct House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) as well as from police “red squads.” After McDonald’s death in September 1983 (on Korean Airlines flight 007), Linda Guell took over and Rees left with his file collection. As Berlet explains, Western goals was “pretty much a shell” when Carl “Spitz” Channell became its president and used it as a fundraising vehicle for the contras.

Singlaub served as cochairman, with Graham, of the American Security Council’s Coalition for Peace Through Strength (it includes such Nazi-led WACL affiliates as the Bulgarian National Front). The American Security Council (ASC) was established during the 1950s by corporations wanting background checks done on employees. Its file archives include the files collected by Harry Jung’s American Vigilante Intelligence Federation founded in 1927 as an anti-union spy group and fueled by anti-Semitism. The ASC Task Force on  Central America, formed after Somoza’s overthrow, included Singlaub, Graham, Haig, and Reps. Larry McDonald, John Murphy and Charles Wilson, among others. Singlaub also serves as an adviser to the Council for inter-American Security led by Lynn Bouchey, which also combined global militarism with surveillance of the U.S. left.

In December 1979, Singlaub and Graham, who served on Reagan’s defense advisory committee, led a supportive American Security council delegation to Guatemala. In a later interview with Allan Nairn, Singlauub – who served as honorary chairman of the 1980 Reagan Campaign in Colorado – said that he was “terribly impressed” at how the regime of General Romeo Lucas Garcia was “desperately trying to promote human rights.” He urged sympathetic understanding of the death squads, arguing that the Carter administration’s unwillingness to back the Guatemalan regime in eliminating its enemies was “prompting those who are dedicated to retaining the free enterprise system and to continuing progress towards political and economic development to take matters in their own hands.”

The message from Singlaub and Graham was clear, according to one high Guatemalan official: “Mr.Reagan recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done.” Gordon Sumner of the Council for Inter-American Security and the ASC Task Force on Central American also defended the death squads to Nairn, arguing that while regrettable, “there is really no other choice.”

In February 1981, Amnesty international released a report entitled, Guatemala, a Government Program of Political Murder. The report described how death squad victims were targeted for murder in an annex of the National Palace under the direction of President Lucas Garcia. It concluded that “nearly 5,000 Guatemalans have been seized without warrant and killed since General Lucas Garcia became President of Guatemala in 1978. The bodies of the victims have been found piled up in ravines, dumped at roadsides or buried in mass graves. Thousands bore the scars of torture, and death had come to most by strangling with a garrotte, by being suffocated in rubber hoods or by being shot in the head.”

Deaver and Hannaford, the public relations firm headed by Reagan aides Peter Hannaford, and Michael Deaver, represented the rightwing Guatemalan group, Amigos del Pais (Friends of the Country). Amigos leader Roberto Alejos provided the ranch used as a training camp by the CIA for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion force. In late 1979, Reagan had private talks with Alejos and with Manuel Ayau, “chief ideologue and theorist of the Guatemalan right” and members of Mario Sandoval’s National Liberation Movement.

The Reagan presidential campaign reportedly received millions of dollars from Guatemalans and U.S. businessmen living in Guatemala. The campaign did not disclose these contributions to the Federal Election Commission, with one exception: the wife of John Trotter, manager of Guatemala’s Coca-Cola bottling plant where five union leaders were murdered, was listed for $750. According to one businessman solicited by the Reagan campaign, there were explicit instructions: “Do not give to Mr. Reagan’s campaign directly.” Contributions were directed to an undisclosed committee in California. As for the Guatemalan contributors, “one government official tells of a meeting in the National Palace…where Guatemalan businessmen and government members boasted of funneling money to Reagan but cautioned all listening that the connection was to be kept confidential.”

Death squad godfather Mario Sandoval attended Reagan’s 1981 inaugural ball. So did Adolfo Cuellar, chairman of El Salvador’s WACL chapter until his murder later that year. Cuellar is remembered by former Salvadoran army officers “as a man who used to appear at interrogation centers and beg for permission to torture the prisoners.”

Singlaub claimed that in 1983 there was a purge of violent elements in the Latin chapters: “The people in WACL from Latin American [sic] now are good, respectable anti-communists.” Although CAL was replaced in 1984 by the Federation of Latin American Democratic Entities (FEDAL), not much changed besides the name. According to Anderson and Anderson, only the Mexican Tecos were purged.

When President Reagan sent “warm greetings” to the 1984 WACL conference in San Diego, Mario Sandoval was there. So was contra leader Adolfo Calero, along with assorted racists and fascists from around the world. Said Reagan, “The World Anti-Communist League has long played a leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged by the true freedom fighters of our day. Nancy and I send you our best wishes for every future success.”

“If I have to get rid of half Guatemala, so the other half can live in peace, I’ll do it, “declared Mario Sandoval during his failed 1985 bid for the Guatemalan presidency. He attended the September 1985 WACL conference in Dallas, along with contra leaders Adolfo Calero and Enrique Bermudez and contra donor Ellen Garwood of Texas. Tom Posey’s Civilian Military Assistance mercenaries provided security.

WACL members called for support of the South African government in its “defense against Moscow-Peking [sic] insurgency.” On September 11, the third day of the conference, Chairman Singlaub proclaimed: “We Commemorate today…the date that first country was liberated from communism: the military overthrow of the Allende regime in Chile…We send a salute to General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and to Juan Ramon Chaves, president of [Paraguay’s] Colorado Party [also founded on September 11], offering our congratulations.” The Colorado Party of dictator General Alfredo Stoessner has ruled Paraguay for over 30 years. The contra leaders promised that the 1986 WACL convention would be held in Managua.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: