By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
If anything proved beyond doubt that the Pulitzer Prizes are a self-congratulatory display whereby the media pat each other on the back and share in the congratulations, it was the coverage of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize announcements. There was nothing from inside the Columbia University journalism building where Pulitzer Prize administrator Sig Gissler tried to justify the honors, known as Gold Medals, for the anti-NSA stories based on the espionage activities of Edward Snowden. My give-and-take with Gissler is the main topic of this column. I saw this process from the inside and am reporting on it here, for the first time. It was a sad and disgraceful day for the journalism profession.
These prizes are usually called “prestigious,” but few people know that they involve a process whereby some people in the media nominate other media for awards, to be decided upon by still other media. It’s a racket.
Ironically, the awards for stories about secret government programs were decided by juries which conducted their discussions in secret. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, a four-time Pulitzer juror and a former member of the Pulitzer board, notes that “…jurors and board members pretty much have to swear an oath, signed in the printer’s ink that still flows through the veins of some, to live in a cone of silence about how business gets done.”
You might conclude that the Pulitzer selection process is more secretive than the NSA programs designed to monitor anti-American terrorism and espionage.
Typically, the entries are accompanied by praise, with no hint that they may have been tainted by questions about their legitimacy.
Even worse, 82 years after the fact, the Pulitzer board has still not revoked the award given to Walter Duranty of The New York Times for covering up Stalin’s mass murder of seven to 10 million Ukrainians during the period of 1932 to 1933.
Meanwhile, thanks to Snowden and his Russian patrons, the Ukrainians are once again suffering.
When awards are given for “journalism” that damages U.S. national security and facilitates foreign aggression, as the Snowden disclosures have done in the case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we are looking at something unprecedented in history for American journalism.
The Guardian US and The Washington Post got awards for the Edward Snowden stories, hyped in advance by outlets such as POLITICO, whose executive editor Richard Berke was a member of the “jury,” in the field of “public service” journalism, that made the nominations.
You can search in vain in POLITICO’s stories for any mention that its own executive editor was a member of the jury making the nominations. The publication had a conflict of interest in covering the awards and never disclosed this conflict to its readers.
Sig Gissler is to be congratulated for taking questions. But all of the critical questions came from me. I counted at least 10 camera crews at the event, one of them from Fox News, and not one other reporter even attempted to ask for the justification of the first-ever Pulitzer Prizes for espionage.
At the end of our final exchange, Gissler looked at the people in the room, wondering if members of the press had been able to ask all of their questions and were happy with the answers. “You don’t look happy,” he said, as he stared at me. I responded, “I bet Snowden’s happy.” He replied, “I don’t know.”
Of course, Snowden is happy. He has claimed vindication.
Technically, the awards went to the publications themselves—the Guardian US, where Glenn Greenwald worked at the time on behalf of Snowden, and The Washington Post, which also published some Snowden stories. But Greenwald, Laura Poitras and their ilk will claim personal credit.
Gissler thanked everyone for coming and noted that this was his last year as administrator of the prizes, and that he was retiring. I applauded his service. He was in a tough spot this year.
As the reporters in the room dispersed, a camera crew from Japanese television channel Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) came up and interviewed me about my criticism of the prizes to Snowden’s co-conspirators. Several journalism students in the room also wanted to talk with me. It was exhilarating. We had a debate going on.
But the debate did not extend to the American media.
The Fox News senior producer, Kathy Ardleigh, didn’t want to include any criticism of the prizes and left with her cameraman. This was all too typical of the major media coverage of the announcements. Sadly, as we have reported in the past, Fox News personality Eric Bolling has been one of Glenn Greenwald’s cheerleaders in the media, pleading with the anti-American “journalist” to give Fox News one of Snowden’s leaks.
Gissler tried to soften the blow, in terms of the impact of the awards based on espionage activity, by saying that the stories “went beyond leaked documents” supplied by Snowden, had stirred public discussion, and that Joseph Pulitzer believed in the “watchdog” function of the press. That was a perfect set-up for my first question:
“You said Joseph Pulitzer would approve of these NSA stories because he wanted the press to be a watchdog. He also said he wanted the press to be a moral force that would promote public virtue. What about the argument that these NSA stories are based on espionage activity by somebody who stole documents who is in the custody of a foreign government committing aggression abroad. Do you think Joseph Pulitzer would approve of that?”
Gissler replied: “I don’t know whether he would or not. But the focus of these stories was really on the information that was made available to the public. It really wasn’t focused on Mr. Snowden.”
I countered: “But he was the source of the documents for the stories, correct?”
Gissler: “And that’s acknowledged in the stories. But what is important here I think is not only the provision of the information but also the fuller understanding and context that allow people to have the important discussion of where you draw the line on this very important activity. That’s the democratic process.”
This exchange then ensued:
Kincaid: “Is this the first time in history—Pulitzer history—that prizes have gone, in the case of these NSA stories, based on a source that fled to a foreign country, a hostile country?
Gissler: “Possibly. I don’t know. We did give the Pulitzer Prizes to the Pentagon Papers that involved Daniel Ellsberg.”
Kincaid: “But he never fled. He always stayed in the United States.
Gissler: “Yeah. It’s probably true. I think so. But I’m not positive.”
I later asked if anyone had resigned from the Pulitzer Board in protest over any of this year’s awards, and he said, “Not to my knowledge.”
What has happened to the patriotic press? Why is there no debate, even on Fox News, over this dangerous trend in American journalism? Where is the rest of the conservative media on this?
- In an absurd footnote to this Pulitzer fiasco, the Moscow-funded propaganda channel Russia Today (RT) features Snowden politely asking Putin if his regime engages in mass surveillance of its citizens and Putin replies, of course not. It was another great show, courtesy of the Russian “active measures” apparatus, with Snowden playing his assigned role.
After the week all of us have had, I think we can relate…
A Young Huntress And Her Golden Eagle
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the records of cyberspace.
This week has been a celebration of hope and freedom, with Passover starting last Monday night and continuing through the weekend until next Tuesday. Which of course also coincides with Holy Week, which culminates this weekend with Easter Sunday. This linkage is entirely appropriate, since Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover ceremonies and the famous Last Supper was a Passover Seder… the ritual meal where Jews all over the world retell the story of the Exodus, celebrate their G-d-given freedom and eat the unleavened bread, matzoh, to commemorate their ancestor’s journey and deliverance from bondage and slavery.
The story of the Resurrection is a story of freedom too… freedom of the soul and a promise of eternal life to believing Christians who understand what the rolling away of the stones means for them.
Both holidays change their dates on our calender from year to year, Passover or Pessah in Hebrew, because it is based on the centuries old Hebrew calender and Easter because the early Church fathers determined that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year, which always occurs after Passover.
However, it’s rare that the two holidays occur this close together and in this momentous year, when Judeo-Christian values seem to be under siege, I likewise see in that a sign of hope for the future.
I and my friends on the Watcher’s Council wish you and yours Chag Pessach Sameach and a blessed Easter.
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” – George Orwell
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” – Hadith Bukhari (84:57)
“People ask me if I have some kind of death wish, to keep saying the things I do. The answer is no: I would like to keep living. However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali
This Week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s – An Honor Killing On Campus, is my reaction to the decision of Brandeis University to withdraw an honorary degree and a chance to address commencement ceremonies from writer, thinker and women’s rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, under pressure from Muslim Brotherhood fronts and a few scared and clueless lefties. Here’s a slice:
Regular members of Joshua’s Army may recall the name Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
She was raised as a Muslima in Somalia and Saudi Arabia, survived female genital mutilation, beatings, abuse and various aspects of Somalia’s internecine clan warfare and became a devout member of the Muslim Brotherhood, after which her questions about Islam and the life she was leading led her to escape being ‘given’ in marriage to a distant male relative she had never met.and flee to Holland. There, she was granted Dutch citizenship and eventually became a member of the Dutch parliament where she became a voice alerting the people of her adopted country to the menace of radical Islam, and against the abuse of Muslim women and children in the Netherland’s Islamic ghettos.
She later collaborated with the late filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on a film called ‘Submission’, which chronicled the plight of many Muslim women victimized as she was by the traditional tribal culture.The film caused a firestorm of protest among Muslims. Van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight by a fanatic Muslim while cycling to work one morning in 2004 and then had his corpse ritually mutilated. A note was pinned to Van Gogh’s corpse promising Ayaan Hirsi Ali that she was the next target, with explicit Qu’rannic details of her `crimes against Islam’ as an ‘apostate’, a death sentence in Islam. Other death threats followed, and Ayaan has lived under 24 hour security protection ever since.
She went through the experience of being forced to move out of her apartment because her Dutch neighbors were annoyed that the security protection ‘inconvenienced them’ and because they were afraid that the violence directed towards Ayaan Hirshi Ali might involve them. And the Dutch government, which was obligated to pay for her security as a member of Parliament also disliked the cost, the inconvenience and the political stigma of protecting an ‘enemy of Islam’ in a country that’s over 25% Muslim, so they found a trumped up reason to take away her citizenship and force her to step down from her seat in parliament. Whereupon, she came here to America and became a noted author and speaker. You can read her story in her books ‘Infidel’, ‘Nomad’,and ‘The Caged Virgin.’
So Brandeis decided to honor Ayaan Hirshi Ali. She was to be their commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree.
But when the local chapters of Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR and the Muslim Student’s Association heard about this, they went absolutely ballistic and were able to rope in enough guilty and frightened non-Muslim Lefties to go along with the mob to get Ayaan’s honorary degree ‘rescinded’ and her invitation to speak revoked.
“This is a real slap in the face to Muslim students,” said senior Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Student Association who created the petition said before the university withdrew the honor.
“But it’s not just the Muslim community that is upset but students and faculty of all religious beliefs,” she said. “A university that prides itself on social justice and equality should not hold up someone who is an outright Islamophobic.”
Thomas Doherty, chairman of American studies, refused to sign the faculty letter. He said it would have been great for the university to honor “such a courageous fighter for human freedom and women’s rights, who has put her life at risk for those values.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, said, “It is unconscionable that such a prestigious university would honor someone with such openly hateful views.”
The organization sent a letter to university President Frederick Lawrence on Tuesday requesting that it drop plans to honor Ali.
“This makes Muslim students feel very uneasy,” Joseph Lumbard, an American convert to Islam and the chairman of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, said in an interview. “They feel unwelcome here.”
The university said that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that ‘discussion’ consisted of a phone call made simply to inform her after the decision had already be made.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a superb piece on the Nevada standoff between the Bundy family and the Bureau of Land Management, The First Amendment is Not an Area, submitted by The Noisy Room. Mark Steyn is absolutely on fire in this one… A must-read.
Here are this week’s full results. Only The Colossus of Rhodey was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Joshuapundit – An Honor Killing On Campus
- Second place with 2 2/3 votes – The Independent Sentinel – Barack Obama’s Ideological Assault on Traditional America
- Third place with 2 votes – The Right Planet – The Soviet Anschluss
- Fourth place with 1 2/3 vote – Bookworm Room – A revolutionary idea to win the White House and save the world
- Fifth place with 1 vote – The Razor – There Should Be A Word
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – Sick: Eric Holder Plays Race Card at Sharpton Event (Video)
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Bay Area anarchists leave Marx standing in the dust Part I: redefining “parasite”
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – VA Right! – Shaun Kenney and Bearing Drift Drop Anchor in Eric Cantor’s Treasure Chest
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Ask Marion – We the People… The Wind Has Shifted
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Wrong Enemy
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Noisy Room – Last Man Standing – Federal Fascism Cowboys Up In Nevada
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Brandeis University Caves To Muslims
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – The real concern regarding the right to vote
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Mark Steyn – The First Amendment is Not an Area submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Ayaan Hirsi Ali/WSJ – Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis submitted by The Razor
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Elder of Ziyon – A fun Twitter conversation with a terror apologist/anti-Israel leftist (updated) submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Adam Kredo/Washington Free Beacon – Inside the White House’s Secret Campaign to Scapegoat Israel submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – Mark Steyn – The Wretched Jelly-Spined Nothing Eunuchs submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – Francis Wilkinson/Bloomberg – Why Are Liberal Cities Bad for Blacks? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – The Federalist – Is President Obama Appalled By Claire Shipman, Too? submitted by The Right Planet
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Center For A New American Security – If Deterrence Fails: Rethinking Conflict on the Korean Peninsula submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Victor Davis Hanson – Our psychodramatic campuses submitted by Bookworm Room
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The First Street Journal – Media Bias: The professional media are attempting to normalize transexualism submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Liberal Backwards Think – Captain America and the New World Order submitted by Ask Marion
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Discriminations – Identity, Rights, Politics: Group Or Individual? submitted by Rhymes with Right
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!
Mark Levin is right – peace through strength as Ronald Reagan put it. It was true then and even more so now.
View the full speech here: http://millercenter.org/scripps/archi…
Address to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida that would come to represent Reagan’s view of the Soviet Union. Reagan defends America’s Judeo-Christian traditions against the Soviet Union’s totalitarian leadership and lack of religious faith, expressing his belief that these differences are at the heart of the fight between the two nations.
“Evil Empire” Speech (March 8, 1983)
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Reverend clergy all, Senator Hawkins, distinguished members of the Florida congressional delegation, and all of you:
I can’t tell you how you have warmed my heart with your welcome. I’m delighted to be here today.
Those of you in the National Association of Evangelicals are known for your spiritual and humanitarian work. And I would be especially remiss if I didn’t discharge right now one personal debt of gratitude. Thank you for your prayers. Nancy and I have felt their presence many times in many ways. And believe me, for us they’ve made all the difference.
The other day in the East Room of the White House at a meeting there, someone asked me whether I was aware of all the people out there who were praying for the President. And I had to say, “Yes, I am. I’ve felt it. I believe in intercessionary prayer.” But I couldn’t help but say to that questioner after he’d asked the question that—or at least say to them that if sometime when he was praying he got a busy signal, it was just me in there ahead of him. [Laughter] I think I understand how Abraham Lincoln felt when he said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
From the joy and the good feeling of this conference, I go to a political reception. [Laughter] Now, I don’t know why, but that bit of scheduling reminds me of a story—[laughter]—which I’ll share with you.
An evangelical minister and a politician arrived at Heaven’s gate one day together. And St. Peter, after doing all the necessary formalities, took them in hand to show them where their quarters would be. And he took them to a small, single room with a bed, a chair, and a table and said this was for the clergyman. And the politician was a little worried about what might be in store for him. And he couldn’t believe it then when St. Peter stopped in front of a beautiful mansion with lovely grounds, many servants, and told him that these would be his quarters.
And he couldn’t help but ask, he said, “But wait, how—there’s something wrong—how do I get this mansion while that good and holy man only gets a single room?” And St. Peter said, “You have to understand how things are up here. We’ve got thousands and thousands of clergy. You’re the first politician who ever made it.” [Laughter]
But I don’t want to contribute to a stereotype. [Laughter] So, I tell you there are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And, yes, we need your help to keep us ever mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted.
The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: “If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.” Explaining the inalienable rights of men, Jefferson said, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” And it was George Washington who said that “of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
And finally, that shrewdest of all observers of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, put it eloquently after he had gone on a search for the secret of America’s greatness and genius—and he said: “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. . . . America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Well, I’m pleased to be here today with you who are keeping America great by keeping her good. Only through your work and prayers and those of millions of others can we hope to survive this perilous century and keep alive this experiment in liberty, this last, best hope of man.
I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, her people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities—the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.
Now, I don’t have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to, or at least out of step with, a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they’re freeing us from superstitions of the past, they’ve taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.
An example of that vocal superiority is evident in a controversy now going on in Washington. And since I’m involved, I’ve been waiting to hear from the parents of young America. How far are they willing to go in giving to government their prerogatives as parents?
Let me state the case as briefly and simply as I can. An organization of citizens, sincerely motivated and deeply concerned about the increase in illegitimate births and abortions involving girls well below the age of consent, sometime ago established a nationwide network of clinics to offer help to these girls and, hopefully, alleviate this situation. Now, again, let me say, I do not fault their intent. However, in their well-intentioned effort, these clinics have decided to provide advice and birth control drugs and devices to underage girls without the knowledge of their parents.
For some years now, the federal government has helped with funds to subsidize these clinics. In providing for this, the Congress decreed that every effort would be made to maximize parental participation. Nevertheless, the drugs and devices are prescribed without getting parental consent or giving notification after they’ve done so. Girls termed “sexually active”—and that has replaced the word “promiscuous”—are given this help in order to prevent illegitimate birth or abortion.
Well, we have ordered clinics receiving federal funds to notify the parents such help has been given. One of the nation’s leading newspapers has created the term “squeal rule” in editorializing against us for doing this, and we’re being criticized for violating the privacy of young people. A judge has recently granted an injunction against an enforcement of our rule. I’ve watched TV panel shows discuss this issue, seen columnists pontificating on our error, but no one seems to mention morality as playing a part in the subject of sex.
Is all of Judeo-Christian tradition wrong? Are we to believe that something so sacred can be looked upon as a purely physical thing with no potential for emotional and psychological harm? And isn’t it the parents’ right to give counsel and advice to keep their children from making mistakes that may affect their entire lives?
Many of us in government would like to know what parents think about this intrusion in their family by government. We’re going to fight in the courts. The right of parents and the rights of family take precedence over those of Washington-based bureaucrats and social engineers.
But the fight against parental notification is really only one example of many attempts to water down traditional values and even abrogate the original terms of American democracy. Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the first amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself.
The evidence of this permeates our history and our government. The Declaration of Independence mentions the Supreme Being no less than four times. “In God We Trust” is engraved on our coinage. The Supreme Court opens its proceedings with a religious invocation. And the members of Congress open their sessions with a prayer. I just happen to believe the schoolchildren of the United States are entitled to the same privileges as Supreme Court Justices and Congressmen.
Last year, I sent the Congress a constitutional amendment to restore prayer to public schools. Already this session, there’s growing bipartisan support for the amendment, and I am calling on the Congress to act speedily to pass it and to let our children pray.
Perhaps some of you read recently about the Lubbock school case, where a judge actually ruled that it was unconstitutional for a school district to give equal treatment to religious and nonreligious student groups, even when the group meetings were being held during the students’ own time. The first amendment never intended to require government to discriminate against religious speech.
Senators Denton and Hatfield have proposed legislation in the Congress on the whole question of prohibiting discrimination against religious forms of student speech. Such legislation could go far to restore freedom of religious speech for public school students. And I hope the Congress considers these bills quickly. And with your help, I think it’s possible we could also get the constitutional amendment through the Congress this year.
More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of 50 states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to one and a half million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will some day pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.
You may remember that when abortion on demand began, many, and, indeed, I’m sure many of you, warned that the practice would lead to a decline in respect for human life, that the philosophical premises used to justify abortion on demand would ultimately be used to justify other attacks on the sacredness of human life—infanticide or mercy killing. Tragically enough, those warnings proved all too true. Only last year a court permitted the death by starvation of a handicapped infant.
I have directed the Health and Human Services Department to make clear to every health care facility in the United States that the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects all handicapped persons against discrimination based on handicaps, including infants. And we have taken the further step of requiring that each and every recipient of federal funds who provides health care services to infants must post and keep posted in a conspicuous place a notice stating that “discriminatory failure to feed and care for handicapped infants in this facility is prohibited by federal law.” It also lists a 24-hour, toll-free number so that nurses and others may report violations in time to save the infant’s life.
In addition, recent legislation introduced in the Congress by Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois not only increases restrictions on publicly financed abortions, it also addresses this whole problem of infanticide. I urge the Congress to begin hearings and to adopt legislation that will protect the right of life to all children, including the disabled or handicapped.
Now, I’m sure that you must get discouraged at times, but you’ve done better than you know, perhaps. There’s a great spiritual awakening in America, a renewal of the traditional values that have been the bedrock of America’s goodness and greatness.
One recent survey by a Washington-based research council concluded that Americans were far more religious than the people of other nations; 95 percent of those surveyed expressed a belief in God and a huge majority believed the Ten Commandments had real meaning in their lives. And another study has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of adultery, teenage sex, pornography, abortion, and hard drugs. And this same study showed a deep reverence for the importance of family ties and religious belief.
I think the items that we’ve discussed here today must be a key part of the nation’s political agenda. For the first time the Congress is openly and seriously debating and dealing with the prayer and abortion issues—and that’s enormous progress right there. I repeat: America is in the midst of a spiritual awakening and a moral renewal. And with your biblical keynote, I say today, “Yes, let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”
Now, obviously, much of this new political and social consensus I’ve talked about is based on a positive view of American history, one that takes pride in our country’s accomplishments and record. But we must never forget that no government schemes are going to perfect man. We know that living in this world means dealing with what philosophers would call the phenomenology of evil or, as theologians would put it, the doctrine of sin.
There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might. Our nation, too, has a legacy of evil with which it must deal. The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war, is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country.
I know that you’ve been horrified, as have I, by the resurgence of some hate groups preaching bigotry and prejudice. Use the mighty voice of your pulpits and the powerful standing of your churches to denounce and isolate these hate groups in our midst. The commandment given us is clear and simple: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
But whatever sad episodes exist in our past, any objective observer must hold a positive view of American history, a history that has been the story of hopes fulfilled and dreams made into reality. Especially in this century, America has kept alight the torch of freedom, but not just for ourselves but for millions of others around the world.
And this brings me to my final point today. During my first press conference as President, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution. I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas—that’s their name for religion—or ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old, exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.
Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are. We saw this phenomenon in the 1930s. We see it too often today.
This doesn’t mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them. I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the forties and fifties for territorial gain and which now proposes 50-percent cut in strategic ballistic missiles and the elimination of an entire class of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
At the same time, however, they must be made to understand we will never compromise our principles and standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God. And we will never stop searching for a genuine peace. But we can assure none of these things America stands for through the so-called nuclear freeze solutions proposed by some.
The truth is that a freeze now would be a very dangerous fraud, for that is merely the illusion of peace. The reality is that we must find peace through strength.
I would agree to a freeze if only we could freeze the Soviets’ global desires. A freeze at current levels of weapons would remove any incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously in Geneva and virtually end our chances to achieve the major arms reductions which we have proposed. Instead, they would achieve their objectives through the freeze.
A freeze would reward the Soviet Union for its enormous and unparalleled military buildup. It would prevent the essential and long overdue modernization of United States and allied defenses and would leave our aging forces increasingly vulnerable. And an honest freeze would require extensive prior negotiations on the systems and numbers to be limited and on the measures to ensure effective verification and compliance. And the kind of a freeze that has been suggested would be virtually impossible to verify. Such a major effort would divert us completely from our current negotiations on achieving substantial reductions.
A number of years ago, I heard a young father, a very prominent young man in the entertainment world, addressing a tremendous gathering in California. It was during the time of the cold war, and communism and our own way of life were very much on people’s minds. And he was speaking to that subject. And suddenly, though, I heard him saying, “I love my little girls more than anything——” And I said to myself, “Oh, no, don’t. You can’t—don’t say that.” But I had underestimated him. He went on: “I would rather see my little girls die now, still believing in God, than have them grow up under communism and one day die no longer believing in God.”
There were thousands of young people in that audience. They came to their feet with shouts of joy. They had instantly recognized the profound truth in what he had said, with regard to the physical and the soul and what was truly important.
Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.
It was C.S. Lewis who, in his unforgettable “Screwtape Letters,” wrote: “The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.”
Well, because these “quiet men” do not “raise their voices,” because they sometimes speak in soothing tones of brotherhood and peace, because, like other dictators before them, they’re always making “their final territorial demand,” some would have us accept them at their word and accommodate ourselves to their aggressive impulses. But if history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.
So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I’ve always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
I ask you to resist the attempts of those who would have you withhold your support for our efforts, this administration’s efforts, to keep America strong and free, while we negotiate real and verifiable reductions in the world’s nuclear arsenals and one day, with God’s help, their total elimination.
While America’s military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.
Whittaker Chambers, the man whose own religious conversion made him a witness to one of the terrible traumas of our time, the Hiss-Chambers case, wrote that the crisis of the Western World exists to the degree in which the West is indifferent to God, the degree to which it collaborates in communism’s attempt to make man stand alone without God. And then he said, for Marxism-Leninism is actually the second oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation, “Ye shall be as gods.”
The Western World can answer this challenge, he wrote, “but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as communism’s faith in Man.”
I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man. For in the words of Isaiah: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength. . . . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary. . . .”
Yes, change your world. One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, said, “We have it within our power to begin the world over again.” We can do it, doing together what no one church could do by itself.
God bless you, and thank you very much.
Hat Tip: BB
Take the Fight to the Progressives and the Enemies Within!
KeyWiki.org Page: http://keywiki.org/Barbara_Lee
Election Facts for 2014:
• Party – Democrat
• State – California
• Location – California 13
• First Elected – 1998
• Candidates in 2014:
Barbara Lee – D
Justin Jelincic – D
Dakin Sundeen – R
Lawrence Allen – Peace and Freedom
Art Moore – R
Barbara Jean Lee is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 13th District of California.
She currently serves as Congressional Progressive Caucus Whip and on the Executive Board of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. She is a member of, and past Chair of, the Congressional Black Caucus.
Born in 1946 in El Paso, Texas, Barbara Lee spent her teenage years in San Fernando, California. She was educated at Mills College and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975.
Lee’s radicalism dates at least to the early 1970s, when she was a confidential aide to Black Panther Party “Minister of Defense,” Huey Newton.
Barbara Lee was inspired to a political career while a campaign worker for Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign. Chisholm was the first black woman to enter Congress. Chisholm had a long history of Communist Party USA (CPUSA) front affiliation, but entered Congress through the Democratic Party in New York’s 11th District.
Lee was elected to Congress in 1998 in California’s 9th District after the retirement of her former boss Rep. Ron Dellums. The District is now redrawn as the 13th District.
Lee is the most senior Democratic woman on the House International Relations Committee. She has sponsored legislation disavowing the preemptive war doctrine and led bipartisan efforts to end the genocide in Darfur.
Barbara Lee serves on the House Committee on Appropriations, which includes the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. She also serves on the House Committee on The Budget and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Lee is the Senior Democratic Whip, she is the Chair on the Social Work Caucus, the Vice-Chair on the LGBT Equality Caucus, the Co-Chair on the Out-of-Poverty Caucus, the Co-Chair on the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, the Co-Chair on the Congressional Sudan Caucus, the Co-Chair on the Health Care Task Force and the Co-Chair on the Peace and Security Task Force.
While most California Democrats initially supported Hillary Clinton, in December 2008, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee became the first California Democrat to endorse Barack Obama.
Lee wrote on December 10, 2008 in the Huffington Post:
I wanted to share some exciting news with you, as today I announced my endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.
Like so many Americans, I first heard Senator Obama when he delivered his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Deep down, I knew I’d witnessed history in the making.
Barack Obama represents a bridge to the future. He embodies the hope and new direction that our country so desperately needs. As I’ve watched Senator Obama campaign for the presidency, I am convinced that he is a real agent of change; a man who can lead our nation in a new and positive direction.
This century cries for social, environmental, diplomatic, global, and neighborhood solutions to the misery that confronts far too many people in our own country and around the globe. I share Senator Obama’s vision and active commitment to building a society based on activism, progressive values and a keen sense that we must act now and outside of the usual bounds of partisanship and expediency.
Barbara Lee has extensive ties to two Communist groups – Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and its spinoff, Committees of Correspondence.
Both Lee and her boss, Rep. Ron Dellums, were encouraged to enter politics by long-time Berkeley Councilwoman and CPUSA supporter, Maudelle Shirek. Another key influence on Lee was Bay Area doctor and publisher, Carlton Goodlett, a long-time Communist Party member.
Still another was Bay Area radical, Yvonne Scarlett-Golden.
In 2006, Barbara Lee released the following statement in response to the news that Daytona Beach Mayor and long-time San Francisco resident, Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, had died of cancer at the age of 80:
Yvonne Scarlett-Golden was a friend to me and an inspiration to many. As the first African-American Mayor of Daytona Beach, she knew about breaking down barriers, and the fact that she came to politics after a full career as a teacher and school administrator is a testament to her determination to serve.
I first met Yvonne when she was the principal of Alamo Park High School in San Francisco in the 1970’s. I remember very well attending peace conferences with Yvonne, the late Alameda County Supervisor John George, former Berkeley City Council member Maudelle Shirek, and the late Carlton Goodlett, publisher of the Sun Reporter Newspaper, all of whose lives were totally committed to peace and justice. Yvonne was never afraid of controversy, and she was outspoken for what she believed in. We will miss her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Both Maudelle Shirek and Yvonne Scarlett-Golden went on to join Committees of Correspondence after the Communist Party split in 1991.
1980’s U.S. Peace Council Executive Board
Barbara Lee was an Executive Board member of the U.S. Peace Council from 1983 to 1985. An affiliate of the Soviet front World Peace Council, the U.S. body was run by the CPUSA. Lee served alongside several known Communist Party members including Sara Staggs, Rob Prince, Michael Myerson, James Jackson, Atiba Mbiwan, Pauline Rosen and Denise Young; as well as several known party sympathizers including Alice Palmer, who would go on to become a political mentor to Barack Obama in Chicago.
People’s Weekly World Banquet 1997
Elected officials attending the Communist Party’s 1997 Bay Area People’s Weekly World Banquet at His Lordship’s Berkeley Marina, included State Senator Barbara Lee, Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, Alemeda County Board of Supervisors President Keith Carson and Berkeley Vice Mayor and City Council member, Maudelle Shirek.
Endorsed Communist Party 1999 PWW Fundraiser
In September 1999, Rep. Barbara Lee co-sponsored a Communist Party fundraising event in Berkeley.
People’s Weekly World (September 11, 1999)
PWW 2001 Banquet
Keynote speaker Eliseo Medina, Democratic Socialists of America leader and SEIU International Executive Vice President, received a standing ovation at the People’s Weekly World Banquet in Berkeley on Nov. 18, 2001, when he sharply criticized Republicans for “killing an economic stimulus program that would have benefited working families.”
Instead, Medina said they substituted measures that are actually, “aid to our favorite dependent corporations.”
In addition to Medina, the banquet honored the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, the Middle East Children’s Alliance and Sacramento Activists for Democratic Trade. The event raised $11,000 for the 2001 fund drive.
Honorees received certificates of Congressional recognition by the office of Rep. Barbara Lee; the event took place in her District. Lee’s greeting was presented by her aide, Saundra Andrews.
“At this time of crisis, when world peace hangs in the balance and the rights of immigrants are under attack,” Lee’s statement said, “it is more important than ever that our community come together to honor the work and legacy of those who struggle to advance the cause of peace and justice for working people everywhere.”
PWW 2002 Banquet
In a spirited tribute, the Northern California People’s Weekly World Banquet on Oct. 13, 2002, honored “the heroes and heroines of the struggle against corporate greed,” and called for a big turnout against Republican “Bush-clones” in the Nov. 5th election. The banquet raised $8,000 for the PWW fund drive.
In her opening, Berkeley Vice Mayor, Maudelle Shirek, spoke of the growing movements in solidarity with West Coast Port Workers and against war. “So there is hope,” she said, “…and a new movement that we must help nurture and grow.”
That movement includes the bloc in Congress that voted against the Bush war resolution and those who supported Rep. Barbara Lee’s peace resolution.
Banquet honorees each received certificates from Rep. Lee.
On September 3, 2003, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which would provide health coverage for all Americans. H.R. 3000 would establish a United States Health Service, which “would eliminate profit issues from health care because it would be owned and controlled by the public and administered primarily at the local level.”
“The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care,” said Lee. “We must become a health care provider, not a denier of this fundamental right.”
The Communist Party USA’s People’s World commented on Lee’s proposal:
We will not win the United States Health Service without a massive, prolonged struggle by working people against the corporate defenders of the current for-profit health care industry.
PWW 2004 Banquet
The “mood was both joyous and determined” as Northern California supporters of the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo gathered Oct. 8, 2004, in Oakland to celebrate their favorite newspaper and to rededicate themselves to the banquet’s theme — “Beat back Bush!”
The “full-house, rainbow crowd honored leaders and organizations from the labor, anti-war, Cuba and Haiti solidarity movements and enjoyed a rich cultural program.” Honorees received certificates of appreciation from area Congresswoman Barbara Lee and from Friends of the People’s Weekly World.
PWW 2006 Event
Barbara Lee was involved in a function organized for the People’s Weekly World in Oakland, California on December 3, 2006, as was Communist Party supporter, peace activist, Jacqueline Cabasso.
“December 3rd was a day the People’s Weekly World can be proud of. Still celebrating the results of the November 7th elections, readers held banquets and dinners in various places across the country, attracting elected officials, leaders of people’s movements and rank-and-file fighters for justice and democracy…”
Other honored guests included anti-nuclear-weapons leader Jackie Cabasso, the Blue Diamond Workers Organizing Committee and two Sacramento-based immigrant rights coalitions. All received certificates from U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee.
Support from Democratic Socialists of America
San Francisco Bay Area Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) supported Barbara Lee’s sole dissenting vote in Congress after the 9/11 attacks:
The DSA national convention passed a resolution condemning the September 11 attacks, supporting in principle the selective use of multilateral armed force, and calling for a halt to the bombing. Its text, along with previous statements by DSA on the war, will presumably be available at the national web site soon. The Sacramento local and the anti-racism commission issued a prior statement, also available as an MS Word document. The East Bay local will be working for the re-election of Barbara Lee, the sole member of Congress to oppose a resolution granting sweeping, vaguely specified war powers to our illegitimate President.
DSA Supported Vaccines Compensation Bill
Democratic Socialists of America backed Dennis Kucinich nationally with his 2002 HR2459 Vaccines Compensation bill. Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee both co-sponsored Kucinich’s bill.
According to the minutes of a January 5, 2002, SF DSA Steering Committee meeting:
According to a (fundraising) call from DSA, supporting HR2459 is a national DSA project. The idea is to contact representatives about co-sponsoring the bill, which comes from Dennis Kucinich and is supported by the progressive caucus. Everyone said they would contact their rep. (neither Pelosi nor Lantos has signed on; Woolsey and Lee are co-sponsors).
Democratic Left Issue (1998) p. 6
“Making Trouble – Building a Radical Youth Movement” was held on April 17-19, 1998, in Berkeley, California:
“Making Trouble” is a conference for young radicals from all over California to meet, form coalitions, and get informed. We will focus on the Prison Industrial Complex and the contemporary Labor Movement, but there will also be workshops on Environmental Justice, the Unz initiative, Art and Revolution, Immigration, Third World Organizing, Economic Globalization, Affirmative Action, Reproductive Rights, and much more.
The Keynote speaker was DSA leader Barbara Ehrenreich.
Invited speakers included DSAers Dolores Huerta, Cornel West and Rep. Ron Dellums, as well as radical leader Tom Hayden, Committees of Correspondence activist Angela Davis and Rep. Barbara Lee.
One time DSA member Nancy Skinner was a Field Manager for Barbara Lee’s 2002 Congressional campaign.
Nancy Skinner went on to found ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, an organization dedicated to helping local governments around the world become environmental leaders. As Executive Director of ICLEI’s U.S. office, Nancy Skinner launched the Cities for Climate Protection program — the U.S. movement of mayors and cities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that now involves over 500 U.S. cities and counties. This is often known as Agenda 21.
Skinner is now a Democratic California State Representative.
21st Century Democrats
On July 28, 2010, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Elijah Cummings and Obama’s communist former “Green Jobs Czar,” Van Jones, spoke about the future of American politics at the kick-off event for 21st Century Democrats’ 2010 Youth Leadership Speaker Series. The event was sponsored by Representative John Lewis and Senator Tom Harkin.
21st Century Democrats was led by one-time DSAer, Jim Scheibel.
Committees of Correspondence Connections
At the Committees of Correspondence founding conference in Berkeley, California on July 17-19, 1992, Barbara Lee was a candidate for the Committees of Correspondence National Coordinating Committee, while serving as a Democratic California State Assembly person.
CoC National Coordinating Committee Member
In 1993, Barbara Lee was an official member of the Committee of Correspondence’s leadership body, the National Coordinating Committee.
When this was publicly exposed, the organization stopped publishing the names of its officers. It is not known when, if ever, Barbara Lee left the Committees of Correspondence.
Take Back America Conferences
Barbara Lee was on the list of 153 speakers at the 2006 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and DSA–initiated Campaign for America’s Future.
She was back in 2007.
America’s Future Now!
Barbara Lee was one of the 148 speakers who addressed the Take Back America’s succeeding America’s Future Now Conference on June 7-9, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
Africa Action Connection
In 2009, Barbara Lee served on the Board of Directors of the far left Institute for Policy Studies partner organization, Africa Action.
Leading with Love
Leading with Love was an event to celebrate 5 years of the Marxist-led IPS partnered National Domestic Workers Alliance. It was held in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2012.
Rep. Barbara Lee served on the Host Committee.
Progressive Democrats of America
Barbara Lee serves on the Advisory Board of the IPS/DSA-led Progressive Democrats of America.
Progressive Democrats of America 2012 Endorsement
In 2012, Barbara Lee was one of 14 leftist Congressional and Senate candidates endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America.
Foreign Policy/National Security
World Peace Council
Barbara Lee told The Progressive magazine that her life was influenced by the late Carlton Goodlett, a dedicated Stalinist and served in the leadership of the international Soviet front, the World Peace Council. He used a newspaper he owned to spread Soviet disinformation and to promote KGB forgeries. In 1981, Lee wrote to the World Peace Council asking that the Soviet front pay for air tickets for California Rep. Ron Dellums and two staffers to attend one of their conferences.
Supported by Council for a Livable World
Barbara Lee has enjoyed the financial support of Council for a Livable World, founded by reported Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, which seeks to “reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security,” primarily through supporting progressive, Congressional candidates who support their policies.
No to Use of Force After 9/11
Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution broadly authorizing President Bush’s use of force after 9/11.
Department of Peace
Speaking to a crowd of 200 peace activists on March 11, 2002, in Oakland, California, Reps. Barbara Lee and Communist party affiliate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) took the occasion to condemn the Bush administration’s plans to target seven nations with nuclear weapons.
“To think that the nuclear option is on the table as a viable strategy is terrifying,” said Lee. “We must keep peace out there as an option.”
Kucinich declared, “We have a crisis in the country – a crisis in the lack of belief in the power of peace. The Bush plan,” he said, “challenges America morally. It raises the question of what America stands for.” Both statements were warmly applauded by the audience gathered to hear about a proposed Cabinet-level Peace Office initiated by Lee and Kucinich.
They were joined in their stand by Communist Party affiliated activist Jackie Cabasso, spokesperson for the People’s Non-Violent Response Coalition, organizer of the event, who said, “The U.S. position needs to be condemned today, immediately! We need a Department of Peace, but we need some interim measures in the meantime.” The PNVRC was formed in the wake of the events of Sept. 11 to promote non-violence as the answer to terrorism.
The bill (HR2459) that would set up the Department of Peace was introduced in Congress on July 11, 2001 by Kucinich; at that point there were 61 co-sponsors, including Lee.
The bill would order the federal government to set up a $3 billion a year agency with a Secretary of Peace who would be a member of the President’s Cabinet and seven assistant secretaries. The mission of the Department would include: hold peace as an organizing principle; endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; develop policies that promote national and international conflict prevention; non-violent intervention; mediation; peaceful resolution of conflict and structured mediation of conflict.
A national “Peace Day” would be declared as an occasion to urge all citizens to create peace.
An early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War, Lee repeatedly proposed legislation seeking early U.S. troop withdrawal. In 2007, she successfully blocked funds from being used to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. Her 2008 amendment requiring that any U.S. agreement to defend Iraq be expressly authorized by Congress, or be included in a Senate approved treaty, was stripped from a defense bill under the threat of a veto by President Bush.
Aiding Grenada Communists
Barbara Lee provided counterintelligence support to the Marxist-Leninist regime in Grenada in the 1980s.
In 1982, together with her colleague Carlottia Scott, Lee accompanied her boss, Rep. Ron Dellums, to communist-ruled Grenada. They wrote a report to the House Armed Services Committee in support of an airport being built on the island, which the U.S. government believed could be used by Soviet bombers aimed at America. Dellums, Lee and Scott provided their draft report to the island’s communist leader Maurice Bishop, to vet before they submitted the final copy to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lee was Dellums’ Administrative Assistant. When she left the job to run for the California legislature in 1987, Scott took her job. When Dellums left Congress in April 1998, Lee won the seat and Carlottia Scott became her Administrative Assistant.
In a handwritten letter to Maurice Bishop addressed to: “My Comrade Leader,” Scott wrote: “Grenada is my home and where my deepest love will always remain. I am sincerely committed and dedicated to Grenada. I feel that now, I will be able to convey in a more comprehensive manner, the thoughts and directions of the PRG [People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada] which, based on a solid foundation, will, in eccence [sic] help to keep the REVO [revolution] up in North America.”
Lee later opposed the U.S.-led ouster of Grenadian General Hudson Austin, who had murdered Maurice Bishop, his former ally, in a coup just days before.
Documents now stored in the national Archives show the extent of Lee’s support for the Grenadan revolution.
When Lee received an envelope containing anti-regime material that had been mailed from Bishop’s office, she immediately warned Bishop’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Dessima Williams – who immediately informed Maurice Bishop. The memorandum read:
On May 14, 1980, Barbara Lee called to say she had received a piece of anti-PRG [People’s Revolutionary Government] propaganda stamped from the Prime Minister’s Office, post-marked in Grenada. We collected it May 15, and it is herewith attached.
Some obvious questions are: –
What concerns us is: How is it possible for such vicious anti-government propaganda to be mailed and stamped from the Prime Minister’s Office to a friendly Congressional Office?
Barbara says that all those U.S. persons who went to Grenada for The First Anniversary [of the revolution] have been receiving G.I.S. News Releases regularly. Should this be so? To her knowledge, no one else except she has received this particular piece of anti-PRG material.
Please advise us at an early time if this was a known or unknown error; if a conspiracy and/or sabotage, and how to handle it.
Barack Obama’s future Illinois political mentor, Alice Palmer, was one of those invited to the first anniversary celebrations of Grenada’s communist revolution.
Influence on Behalf of the Regime
In a typewritten letter to Bishop on U.S. House of Representatives letterhead, dated April 28, 1982, Scott describes how she and Lee involved Dellums in promoting the Grenadan regime.
Addressed to Bishop as “My Dearest, Just a brief note to let you know that I still love you madly,” Scott wrote:
I really need to talk to you face to face to share some thoughts that Ron [Dellums] has. I don’t know if you realized it or not but Ron has become truly committed to Grenada and has some very positive political thinking to share with you. He feels that he can best be of assistance in a counseling manner and hopes to be able to discuss these thoughts in the near future. He just has to get all to [sic] his thoughts in order as to how your interests can best be served. Ron, as a political thinker, is the best around and Fidel will verify that in no uncertain terms. When matched against the best of them, Ron always comes out ahead (even with Fidel). He is so far ahead of his time that it scares me at times but I have learned to deal with it over the years.
When we left Grenada and arrived in Barbados, we met with what I would call a very ugly American, Ludlow Flowers, the Deputy Ambassador to B’dos from the U.S. In the most awesome exchange of dialogue, Ron battled this ass to the bitter end on U.S. policy toward Grenada. You would have been proud.
Scott described what she, Dellums and Lee were doing to run influence operations in Congress on behalf of the Cuban-backed government: “We are now in the process of pulling together the report for the Armed Services Committee, preparing testimony for the Inter-American Affairs Committee Hearings on Grenada, and in the process of trying to come up with a strategy to bring the U.S. and Grenada to the negotiating table.”
She told Bishop about the report they were authoring about the Cuban-built airstrip at Point Salines:
We hope that this report will serve as a basis for a clear understanding and direct counter to the [Reagan] Administration’s policy based on their militarist lines of thinking. If the issue can be turned around soon, then we hope that all this insane rhetoric will be stopped by the U.S.
That would take some strategizing with Bishop. Scott continued:
However, the specifics need to be mapped out very carefully. This is only part of what Ron needs to discuss with you in as much as this has to be a team effort. (smile) Ron also has some very clear ideas on the best procedure that should be followed on your end if you agree to proceed in such a manner. Oh well, I won’t bore you with all this until we are able to sit down and really discuss it. It is really very hard to put into a coherent statement at this time. As you are well aware I act on emotion a lot of the time and I am very excited about the role that Ron is willing to play after trying to get him to Grenada for so long. I know now that all our efforts have not been in vain.
Dellums’ Chief of Staff then told Bishop that she, the Congressman and Barbara Lee met together in Havana after visiting Grenada:
Ron had a long talk with Barb and me when we got to Havana and cried when he realized that we had been shouldering Grenada alone all this time. Like I said, he’s really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn’t want anything to happen to building the Revo and making it strong. He really admires you as a person and even more so as a leader with courage and foresight, principle and integrity. Believe me, he doesn’t make that kind of statement often about anyone. The only other person that I know of that he expresses such admiration for is Fidel. (I’ve known and worked with Ron for many years and the last time I heard him say something like that was in 1977 after a meeting with Fidel).
Scott then told Bishop about a courier who would bring Dellums’ materials for the hearings to Grenada and wrote of the report on the Point Salines airstrip:
Well sweet, I must run. Am doing this as quickly as possible. Just found out that Kojo (Chris) is leaving in a few minutes for the airport. I just wanted you to know that we need to talk and soon. Am sending copies of Ron[’s] hearings with him. You will be receiving a formal letter of appreciation for the wonderful trip from Ron soon, (As soon as I get around to writing it. (SMILE) but I have to finish this report first.) For the… I really need Selwyn’s speech to use in this report. Peggy said he had the tape and it had not been transcribed yet. Please see if he has found it yet. It could be very important. Even if we don’t use it for the report we could use it for the testimony for the hearings on Grenada in May.
Love you madly and hope to be able to prove it one of these days. Call me soon…
Scott signed her initials, then hand-wrote a postscript: “P.S. This is confidential rap as you well know. Let me know when you or one of the comrades will be taking a trip somewhere in this hemisphere so we can talk. Notice I said this hemisphere. So we can plan to meet and talk. Call me.”
First Cuba Trip
In 1977, Barbara Lee and Ron Dellums were part of a delegation to Cuba, which met with Fidel Castro to “discuss health problems.”
Lee on Cuban “Self-Determination”
The March 21, 1998 edition of the People’s Weekly World, page 16, covered an address by Lee to veterans of the Spanish Civil War’s communist-led Abraham Lincoln Brigade, “Lincoln vets honor Robeson.” “Greetings to the crowd of more than 1,000 were presented by State Senator Barbara Lee, who is a candidate for Congress to succeed the retiring Ron Dellums. Lee condemned the current blockade against Cuba as ‘wrong’ and called for its removal, to be replaced by a ‘normalizing’ of relations with Cuba.”
“The Cuban people,” said Lee, “should be allowed to determine their own course of action in accordance with self-determination.”
1998 Cuba Delegation
In December 1998, newly elected Rep. Barbara Lee hosted an 11 member, five day mission to Cuba. Delegates included far left Oakland City Council members Ignacio De La Fuente, Henry Chang and Jane Brunner, who all paid their own way. On her return, Lee intended to submit a written report to President Bill Clinton and Congress on the delegation’s findings. In October that year, Lee had been one of 17 Members of Congress who sent a letter to Clinton calling for a bipartisan commission to review U.S.-Cuba policy.
1999 Cuba Trip
On February 18 1999, 6 members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors were Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas and Julia Carson of Indiana.
Staffer’s 2004 Trip to Cuba
In May 2004, Julie Nickson from the office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, spent four days in Havana, Cuba, for the purpose of “fact finding.” The trip cost $1,393.16 and was paid for by the leftist Christopher Reynolds Foundation.
Barbara Lee with Raul Castro
Influencing Obama on Cuba
In early April 2009, Rep. Barbara Lee led a congressional delegation to Havana for a 4½ hour meeting with Raul Castro, telling reporters, “All of us are convinced that President Castro would like normal relations and would see normalization, ending the embargo, as beneficial to both countries.”
Reuters reported that Lee’s delegation “avoided specifics” with Castro, “but were struck by his humor, impressed by his involvement in Third World causes and firm in their belief that he wants to end U.S.-Cuba enmity.”
The meeting between Castro, Lee and five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus took place in secret without the customary presence of a U.S. State Department official. No reporters attended and according to the New York Times, Cuban television, which covered the visit, offered no details of what was said.
Lee says she wanted to influence President Barack Obama prior to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.
Prior to the trip, Lee told her hometown Oakland Tribune newspaper that the U.S. had to open up to Cuba, but did not demand that the Cuban government open up; she blasted U.S. policy as “based on antiquated Cold War-era thinking.”
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