By: Trevor Loudon
Democratic Socialists of America has a bona fide traitor in its ranks.
The US’ largest Marxist organization, and the one most closely allied to President Barack Obama, has re-admitted one of America’s worst communist spies to its membership roster.
Not long after completing a 17 year sentence for espionage, life long socialist activist Kurt Stand, has joined the Metro Washington DC local of Democratic Socialists of America.
Kurt Stand began his spying activities in 1972 after being recruited by the former East Germany to recruit other spies in the Washington, DC, area. Kurt Stand was introduced to East German intelligence officers through his father, Mille Stand, a communist chemical engineer who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
According to the FBI, East Germany’s relationship with the Stand family goes back to Stand’s father, who recruited his son as a communist agent. In a secretly recorded conversation, Stand’s former wife and fellow spy Theresa Squillacote, said the family relationship was even deeper.
“Between my husband and myself we go back in this work to 1918,” she told an undercover FBI agent.
Squillacote, Stand and friend James Clark attended the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s where they were active in the Young Workers Liberation League, the youth arm of the Communist Party USA. Stand recruited Clark to spy in 1976 and Squillacote about the time the couple was married in 1980.
Before working at the Pentagon, Squillacote was employed by the National Labor Relations Board and later, the House Armed Services Committee. She sent numerous photographs to her German handlers. After the fall of East Germany, Squillacote came to the attention of the FBI, when she offered to be a spy in a letter to a South African government Minister who was a leader of the South African Communist Party.
Stand and Squillacote frequently traveled to Mexico, Germany and Canada, during which time Stand would meet with their East German handlers. After German re-unification, Stand’s controllers tried to recruit him to spy for the Soviet Union and then for the Russian Federation. Although he never gained access to classified material, his role in the operation was to recruit agents and to provide information about the non-governmental groups with which he worked. Stand allegedly received $24,650 for his recruiting and coordinating efforts. On 23 Oct. 1998, he and Squillacote were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, attempted espionage and illegally obtaining national defense documents. On 22 Jan. 1999, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Squillacote to 21 years and 10 months in prison and Stand to a sentence of 17 years and six months.
For nearly 15 years of his spying career, Stand was an active member of Democratic Socialists of America, rising to serve on its leading body, the National Political Committee in the 1990s.
Sqillacote, Mille Stand and possibly Kurt Stand, were also members of Committees of Correspondence, formed after a 1991 split in the Communist Party USA.
Like many DSAers, Kurt Stand was a huge fan of Barack Obama, even writing about the future president from his jail cell in June 2008 (since scrubbed):
The conversations I’ve listened too and taken part in over these past months have made me a stronger supporter of Obama than I otherwise would have been; have strengthened my perception that his election could be a critical part of building a movement of resistance to our country’s current direction, could help provide the space or framework in which more radical alternatives are again spoken and heard.
To go back to Obama… if he is able to overcome our country’s racism and actually win election we can expect some initial efforts to rein in the excesses of the Bush Administration… For his corporate supporters that will be enough, for most of those voting for him it will be sufficient only as a first step. It will be up to those who want genuine social justice to build movements that give him the possibility of pushing further; finding out then whether he will or won’t remembering that the key will not be him but us (us defined as those who worked for his election, for social justice activists, the left) and what we do, how we organize. How we use the social solidarity the campaign is developing as the basis of a renewed social solidarity…
In sum, radicals and progressives ought to join those—including those in prison—who have already decided to back Obama, see where the campaign can take us, see what can then be accomplished.
While posing as “democratic” and non-communist, Democratic Socialists of America is actually a hardcore Gramsciist revolutionary organization.
That they would re-admit a convicted traitor to their ranks, almost straight from jail, shows exactly where their loyalties lie.