Saturday, August 30, 2014

"The Long Secret Alliance: Uncle Sam and Pol Pot" by John Pilger

for "Covert Action Quarterly" magazine, Fall 1997:

The US not only helped create conditions that brought Cambodia's Khmer Rouge to power in 1975, but actively supported the genocidal force, politically and financially. By January 1980, the US was secretly funding Pol Pots exiled forces on the Thai border. The extent of this support-$85 million from 1980 to 1986-was revealed six years later in correspondence between congressional lawyer Jonathan Winer, then counsel to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Winer said the information had come from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). When copies of his letter were circulated, the Reagan administration was furious. Then, without adequately explaining why, Winer repudiated the statistics, while not disputing that they had come from the CRS. In a second letter to Noam Chomsky, however, Winer repeated the original charge, which, he confirmed to me, was "absolutely correct.''

Washington also backed the Khmer Rouge through the United Nations, which provided Pol Pot's vehicle of return. Although the Khmer Rouge government ceased to exist in January 1979, when the Vietnamese army drove it out, its representatives continued to occupy Cambodia's UN seat. Their right to do so was defended and promoted by Washington as an extension of the Cold War, as a mechanism for US revenge on Vietnam, and as part of its new alliance with China (Pol Pot's principal underwriter and Vietnam's ancient foe). In 1981, President Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said, "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot." The US, he added, "winked publicly" as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge through Thailand.

As a cover for its secret war against Cambodia, Washington set up the Kampuchean Emergency Group (KEG) in the US embassy in Bangkok and on the Thai-Cambodian border. KEG's job was to "monitor" the distribution of Western humanitarian supplies sent to the refugee camps in Thai land and to ensure that Khmer Rouge bases were fed. Working through "Task Force 80" of the Thai Army, which had liaison officers with the Khmer Rouge, the Americans ensured a constant flow of UN supplies. Two US relief aid workers, Linda Mason and Roger Brown, later wrote, "The US Government insisted that the Khmer Rouge be fed ... the US preferred that the Khmer Rouge operation benefit from the credibility of an internationally known relief operation."

In 1980, under US pressure, the World Food Program handed over food worth $12 million to the Thai army to pass on to the Khmer Rouge. According to former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke "20,000 to 40 000 Pol Pot guerrillas benefited." This aid helped restore the Khmer Rouge to a fighting force, based in Thailand, from which it de stabilized Cambodia for more than a decade.

Although ostensibly a State Department operation, KEG's principals were intelligence officers with long experience in Indochina. In the early 1980s it was run by Michael Eiland, whose career underscored the continuity of American intervention in Indochina. In 1969-70, he was operations officer of a clandestine Special Forces group code-named "Daniel Boone," which was responsible for the reconnaissance of the US bombing of Cambodia. By 1980, Col. Eiland was running KEG out of the US embassy in Bangkok, where it was de scribed as a "humanitarian" organization. Responsible for interpreting satellite surveillance photos of Cambodia, Eiland became a valued source for some of Bangkok's resident Western press corps, who referred to him in their reports as a "Western analyst." Eiland's "humanitarian" duties led to his appointment as Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief in charge of the South east Asia Region, one of the most important positions in US espionage.

In November 1980, the just elected Reagan administration and the Khmer Rouge made direct contact when Dr. Ray Cline, a former deputy director of the CIA, secretly visited a Khmer Rouge operational headquarters inside Cambodia. Cline was then a foreign policy adviser on President-elect Reagan's transitional team. Within a year, according to Washington sources, 50 CIA agents were running Washington's Cambodia operation from Thailand. The dividing line between the international relief operation and the US war became more and more confused. For example, a Defense Intelligence Agency colonel was appointed "security liaison officer" between the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO) and the Displaced Persons Protection Unit (DPPU). In Washington, sources revealed him as a link between the US government and the Khmer Rouge.

The UN as a Base

By 1981, a number of governments, including US allies, became decidedly uneasy about the charade of continued UN recognition of Pol Pot as legitimate head of the country This discomfort was dramatically demonstrated when a colleague of mine, Nicholas Claxton, entered a bar at the UN in New York with Thaoun Prasith, Pol Pot's representative. "Within minutes," said Claxton, "the bar had emptied." Clearly, something had to be done. In 1982, the US and China, supported by Singapore, invented the Coalition of the Democratic Government of Kampuchea, which was, as Ben Kiernan pointed out, neither a coalition, nor democratic, nor a government, nor in Kampuchea. Rather, it was what the CIA calls "a master illusion." Cambodia's former ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was appointed its head; otherwise little changed. The Khmer Rouge dominated the two "non-communist" members, the Sihanoukists and the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF). From his office at the UN, Pol Pot's ambassador, the urbane Thaoun Prasith, continued to speak for Cambodia. A close associate of Pol Pot, he had in 1975 called on Khmer expatriates to return home, whereupon many of them "disappeared."

The United Nations was now the instrument of Cambodia's punishment. In all its history, the world body has withheld development aid from only one Third World country: Cambodia. Not only did the UN-at US and Chinese insistence-deny the government in Phnom Penh a seat, but the major international financial institutions barred Cambodia from all international agreements on trade and communications. Even the World Health Organization refused to aid the country. At home, the US denied religious groups export licenses for books and toys for orphans. A law dating from the First World War, the Trading with the Enemy Act, was applied to Cambodia and, of course, Vietnam. Not even Cuba and the Soviet Union faced such a complete ban with no humanitarian or cultural exceptions.

By 1987, KEG had been reincarnated as the Kampuchea Working Group, run by the same Col. Eiland of the Defense Intelligence Agency The Working Group's brief was to provide battle plans, war materiel, and satellite intelligence to the so-called "non-communist" members of the "resistance forces." The non-communist fig leaf allowed Congress, spurred on by an anti-Vietnamese zealot, then - Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-NY), to approve both "overt" and "covert" aid estimated at $24 million to the "resistance " Until 1990, Congress accepted Solarz' specious argument that US aid did not end up with or even help Pol Pot and that the mass murderers US-supplied allies "are not even in close proximity with them [the Khmer Rouge] "

Military Links

While Washington paid the bills and the Thai army provided logistics support, Singapore, as middleman, was the main conduit for Western arms. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was a major backer of the US and Chinese position that the Khmer Rouge be part of a settlement in Cambodia. "It is journalists," he said, "who have made them into demons."

Weapons from West Germany, the US, and Sweden were passed on directly by Singapore or made under license by Chartered Industries, which is owned by the Singapore government. These same weapons were captured from the Khmer Rouge. The Singapore connection allowed the Bush administration to continue its secret aid to the "resistance," even though this assistance broke a law passed by Congress in 1989 banning even indirect "lethal aid" to Pol Pot. In August 1990, a former member of the US Special Forces disclosed that he had been ordered to destroy records that showed US munitions in Thailand going to the Khmer Rouge. The records, he said, implicated the National Security Council, the president's foreign policy advisory body.

In 1982, when the US, Chinese, and ASEAN governments contrived the "coalition" that enabled Pol Pot to retain Cambodia's UN seat, the US set about training and equipping the "non-communist" factions in the "resistance" army These followers of Prince Sihanouk and his former minister, Son Sann, leader of the KPNLF, were mostly irregulars and bandits. This resistance was nothing with out Pol Pot's 25,000 well-trained, armed and motivated guerrillas, whose leadership was acknowledged by Prince Sihanouk's military commander, his son, Norodom Ranariddh. "The Khmer Rouge'' he said, are the "major attacking forces" whose victories were "celebrated as our own."'

The guerrillas' tactic like that of the Contras in Nicaragua, was to terrorize the countryside by setting up ambushes and seeding minefields. In this way, the government in Phnom Penh would be destabilized and the Vietnamese trapped in an untenable war: its own "Vietnam." For the Americans in Bangkok and Washington, the fate of Cambodia was tied to a war they had technically lost seven years earlier. "Bleeding the Vietnamese white on the battlefields of Cambodia" was an expression popular with the US policy-making establishment. Destroying the crippled Vietnamese economy and, if necessary overturning the government in Hanoi, was the ultimate goal. Out of that ruin, American power would again assert itself in Indochina.

The British-who have had special military forces in Southeast Asia since World War II, also played a key role in supporting Pol Pot's armed force. After the "Irangate" arms-for-hostages scandal broke in Washington in 1986, the Cambodian training became an exclusively British operation. "If Congress had found out that Americans were mixed up in clandestine training in Indochina, let alone with Pol Pot," a Ministry of Defense source told Simon O'Dwyer-Russell of the London Sunday Telegraph, "the balloon would have gone right up. It was one of those classic Thatcher-Reagan arrangements. It was put to her that the SAS should take over the Cambodia show, and she agreed."

Pol Pot's Washington Impunity

Shortly after the start of the Gulf War in January 1991, President Bush described Saddam Hussein as "Adolf Hitler revisited.'' Bush's call for "another Nuremberg" to try Saddam under the Genocide Convention was echoed in Congress and across the Atlantic in London.

It was an ironic distraction. Since the original Fuhrer expired in his bunker, the US has maintained a network of dictators with Hitlerian tendencies-from Suharto in Indonesia to Mobutu in Zaire and a variety of Latin American mobsters, many of them graduates of the US Army School of the Americas. But only one has been identified by the world community as a genuine "Adolf Hitler revisited," whose crimes are documented in a 1979 report of the UN Human Rights Commission as "the worst to have occurred anywhere in the world since Nazism.'' He is, of course, Pol Pot, who must surely wonder at his good fortune. Not only was he cosseted, his troops fed, supplied, and trained, his envoys afforded all diplomatic privileges, but-unlike Saddam Hussein-he was assured by his patrons that he would never be brought to justice for his crimes.

These assurances were given publicly in 1991 when the UN Human Rights Subcommission dropped from its agenda a draft resolution on Cambodia that referred to "the atrocities reaching the level of genocide committed in particular during the period of Khmer Rouge rule." No more, the UN body decided, should member governments seek to "detect, arrest, extradite or bring to trial those who have been responsible for crimes against humanity in Cambodia." No more are governments called upon to "prevent the return to government positions of those who were responsible for genocidal actions during the period 1975 to 1978."

Such guarantees of impunity for the genocidists were also part of the UN "peace plan" drafted by the permanent members of the Security Council: that is, by the United States. To avoid offending Pol Pot's principal backers, the Chinese, the plan dropped all mention of "genocide," replacing it with the euphemism: "policies and practices of the recent past.'' On this, Henry Kissinger, who played a leading pan in the mass bombing of Cambodia in the early 1970s, was an important influence.

Western propaganda prior to the UN "peace process" in Cambodia concentrated on the strength of the Khmer Rouge, so as to justify their inclusion. UN officials and American and Australian diplomats talked about 35-40,000 Khmer Rouge. "You will understand," they would say, "we can't leave a force as powerful as that outside the tent." As soon as the Khmer Rouge had been welcomed back to Phnom Penh and, in effect, given a quarter to a third of the countryside, they refused to take part in the elections. The tune then changed. They were now "finished," chorused Western diplomats. They were "weakened beyond hope."

In the meantime, the Khmer Rouge was establishing itself as the richest terrorist group in history by selling off tracts of Cambodia's forests, as well as its precious stones, to the Thai, whose government was a signatory to the "peace accords." No one stopped them. They established four large new bases inside Thailand, complete with a field hospital. Thai soldiers guarded the road that led to them. The "they are finished" line remains in vogue to this day Undoubtedly, they have been numerically diminished by defections and attrition, but their number was always a false measure of their true strength. It seems the State Department believes they are far from finished.

On July 10 this year, the spokesperson Nicholas Burns let slip that Khmer Rouge strength ran into "thousands. "

The real threat from the Khmer Rouge comes from their enduring skill at deception and infiltration. Before they seized power in 1975, they had honeycombed Phnom Penh. This process is almost certainly under way again. As one resident of Phnom Penh said recently, "They're everywhere." The "trial" of Pol Pot this year was a wonderful piece of Khmer Rouge theater cum-media-event, but was otherwise worthless as an indication of the organizations strength and immediate aims. The truth is that no one on the outside can really say what these are, and that alone is a measure of the organization's strength and resilience. The Cambodian leader Hun Sen, for one, clearly retains a respect for the veracity and menace of their ambitions.

The media relish Pol Pot as a unique monster. That is too easy and too dangerous. It is his Faustian partners in Washington, Beijing, London, Bangkok, Singapore, and elsewhere who deserve proper recognition. The Khmer Rouge have been useful to all their converging aims in the region. Eric Falt, the UN's senior spokesperson in Phnom Penh at the time of that manipulated organization's "triumph" in Cambodia, told me with a fixed smile, "The peace process was aimed at allowing [the Khmer Rouge to gain respectability." Unfortunately, many ordinary Cambodian people share his cynicism. They deserve better.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Aldous Huxley’s warnings

** 1958 []
** 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, “The Ultimate Revolution” []

The World Anti-Imperialist Alliance

Poster published 1969-10-25 in "The Black Panther (InterCommunal News Service)" vol. 3 no. 27:
SEIZE THE TIME! (from left to right) Africa, Europe, Indo-China, DPRK, Cuba and Latin America point their guns at the USA

Monday, August 18, 2014

1940, domestic fascism in the USA, and the Republican Party

 Republican Party Platform of 1940 (adopted June 24) []

"Jupiter Island Founder, Pryor's Son's Role in Nazi Financing of 1940 Wilkie Campaign"
2008-07-14 []:
Today's diary is part II in a series. Part I, posted the other day, is here: "Bush Dynasty is the Visible Legacy of the "Merchants of Death" of Jupiter Island" [].
Part III in a Series About Relationships between Samuel Pryor & Jupiter Island, FL Residents []
The son of Remington Arms principle, Samuel F. Pryor, founder of the colony of elite living on Jupiter Island, Fl, business partner of both Bush grandfathers, founding director of Harriman/Bush's Hamburg-Amerika Shipping Line and of Thyssen's Union Bank (UBC), connected with the Du Pont sponsored fascist coup that Gen. Smedley Butler testified to the Dickstein McCormack committee about in 1934 (Pryor died in 1934), Sam F. Pryor Jr., was the 1940 Wendell Wilkie republican campaign official who facilitated the funding of that campaign by Hermann Goering's American representative, William Rhodes Davis.
One of the google.books links in this post documents British spymaster in America, Stephenson's admission that he "removed" Rhodes Davis, who died suddenly in Mexico in August, 1942.
The most startling things, besides the continuation of Nazi ties of Harriman/Bush/Pryor, to Pryor's son, in 1940, is that Wendell Wilkie apparently knew that Nazi money was financing his campaign, and worked to conceal it, and that assistant Atty. General and early 1940's Nazi prosecutor, O. John Rogge, confirmed that William Rhodes Davis was working through Goering, based on 1946 interviews with Goering, himself, and compiled a report, with testimony from more than 60 witnesses in Germany, of Nazi financing, collaboration with American businessmen, and financing of and interfering with American presidential elections. When Rogge gave speeches in the fall of 1946 about details in his report, Atty. General Tom Clark, father of future Atty, General Ramsey Clark, promptly fired him.
(Note: If you've gotten this far, read the linked pages and remove any doubt about these points you may have initially harbored...)
IMO, the documentation, book references, and news accounts, coupled with the supporting info in my last diary, add up to a scenario too well supported to ignore. The people who later came to live on Samuel Pryor's tiny Jupiter Island, were intimates of OSS and CIA principles, and of the wealthiest people in the U.S., and designed and either led or heavily influenced the military/intelligence apparatus from the late 1930's until this moment.
"ROGGE TIES LEWIS TO NAZIS IN POLITICS; Tells of Talks With Ribbentrop, Goering, Who Sought Defeat of Roosevelt in '36, '40, '44", 1946-10-23 from the "New York Times" []: WASHINGTON, Oct. 22--A political science class at Swarthmore College tonight heard from O. John Rogge, special Assistant to the Attorney General, a detailed account of efforts which Hermann Goering, Joachim von Ribbentrop and other high Nazi officials say they made to defeat President Roosevelt for re-election in 1936, 1940 and 1944....
"Nazi scheme to defeat FDR told by Goering", 1946-07-08 from the "Los Angeles Times":
A Nazi scheme to use a huge fund to try and defeat President Roosevelt in the 1940 election campaign was disclosed today by Asst. Atty. Gen. O. John Rogge.
1941-08-11 from "Time" weekly newsmagazine [,9171,765913,00.html]: Died. William Rhodes Davis, 52, the oil world's "mystery man" of World War ii; in Houston, Tex. In 1938 he fixed the barter deal which gave Germany and Italy some 20 million barrels of Mexican oil, some of it expropriated from U.S. and British oil companies, and in late 1939 he came back from Germany with a negotiated peace conference proposal.
For more documentation, please visit []

The author of the "Series About Relationships between Samuel Pryor & Jupiter Island, FL Residents" articles had also posted the following information at []:
Quote, originally posted by Seaver: "What's the big deal? Kennedy had parents who were in to pretty much the same thing. I've always felt the sins of the father are not to fall on the son. This is what, two generations?"
If you're implying Bush Sr. was a traitor, remember he was a pilot who fought in the Pacific (being shot down actually).
I'm offering proof that both Prescott Bush and George H. Walker were partnered with Samuel F Pryor Sr., and that Samuel P Bush oversaw Pryor's Remington-UMC operations, in his role as small arms and ammo overseer, for the war industries board, and that this began a close relationship with the Pryor family, on Jupiter Island, that exists to the present. I've posted evidence that Prescott and the bank he was director of were seized in 1943 by the Alien Property Cutodian, and that Pryor Sr. and Bush's Harriman Bros. partners were founding directors of that bank.
The Bush family has never responded to any of this evidence, and the electorate and press have not demanded it of them..... But, then again, they have plenty of company in all of this, don't they?

Quote: "A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. . . .
"Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there."
-- William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937.

Note that Walter S. Carpener, first non-Du Pont family member, headed the Du Pont Corp. finance committee in 1933. and negotiated on behalf of Du Pont for the purchase of Remington-UMC, from Pryor Sr. Walter Carpenter purchased property from the Pryors of Jupiter Island, and ran DuPont, as it's president and later Chairman, during the period Dupont was first, A-Bomb principle contractor, and then, when it was H-bomb principle contractor.

Counter spy Respondek, diclosed this, after the war:
Quote []:
...The outbreak of hostilities between Germany and the United States in December, 1941, did not affect this pact.... IG Farben supplied Du pont with the greatest detail....until January/February 1945....
.....and vice as usual !

Do a search of the name "Farish" via the TFP search, you'll see that William S. Farish of Standard Oil, NJ admitted to doing the same with Farben, and his grandson was chosen, in 1980, to manage GHW Bush's portfolio when he became VP. They operate right out in the open.....

Seaver there appear to have been 20 members of congress, 18 of them republicans, who either took money directly from the Nazi German government, or took money passed through organizations from that government, to the 20 elected officials, and four more abused their franking privileges in the Nazi German cause. I just added a piece in post #2, that implicates rep. Hamilton Fish, from NY.

John Alexander Republican Minnesota
Philip Bennett Republican Missouri

Usher Burdick Republican North Dakota
Worth Clark Democrat Idaho

Cliff Clevenger Republican Ohio
Henry Dworshak Republican Idaho

Clare Hoffman Republican Michigan
Edwin Johnson Democrat Colorado

Bartell Jonlman Republican Michigan
Harold Knutson Republican Minnesota

Robert LaFollette Republican Wisconsin
Gerald Nye Republican North Dakota

Robert Reynolds Democrat North Carolina
Paul Shafer Republican Michigan

Henrik Shipstead Republican Minnesota
William Stratton Republican Illinois

Martin Sweeney Democrat Ohio
Jacob Thorkelson Republican Montana

George Tinkham Republican Massachusetts
Burton Wheeler Democrat Montana

This is part of what the mindset was, after the war ended:
Quote: "The allied armies had won the war in Europe against fascism but the U. S. was losing the war at home against fascism. In their rabid hatred of communism the native fascists were now plotting the cold war and everyone was needed to fight the new menace and justice could be sacrificed."
Apologies for such a "spotty" presentation and documentation Seaver, because we are limited to uncovering the secrets of the powerful, AGAINST THEIR WISHES....and the press in the US is of little aid in the effort to do so.
Last edited by host; 07-14-2008

"How Nazis Tried to Steer U.S. Politics"
1997-07-23 by David Stout []:
One day in June 1940, with much of Europe under the Nazi boot and Britain ready to fight to the death, a German diplomat in Washington wired Berlin on how to keep the United States out of the war by giving money to American politicians.
The timing was both auspicious and delicate for Germany, Hans Thomsen, the charge d'affaires at the German Embassy here, argued in his June 12 message to the Foreign Ministry. True, German troops seemed invincible, but their victories were stirring ''intervention hysteria'' in the United States.
So, Mr. Thomsen said, ''a well-camouflaged lightning propaganda campaign might well prove useful'' at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia two weeks later. He asked Berlin for $3,000 to help a Republican Congressman take about 50 isolationist members of his party to Philadelphia to push for an antiwar platform.
What is more, Mr. Thomsen said, the Congressman, who was never named, was forming a committee that would publish full-page newspaper advertisements during the convention bearing the message ''Keep America Out of War.'' The advertisements would cost $60,000 to $80,000, Mr. Thomsen said. (That would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in today's money.)
With Washington today caught up in Senate hearings into possible efforts by China to buy influence in American political affairs, Mr. Thomsen's words from long ago are haunting. They tell of an elaborate scheme to interfere in the American political system.
''It was at the time the most extensive foreign intervention -- direct intervention -- ever into an American election campaign,'' said Gerhard L. Weinberg, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina who fled Germany with his family just before World War II. Professor Weinberg has written extensively about the war and is one of the few who have studied Mr. Thomsen's dispatches.
The communiques of Hans Thomsen and other officials were among thousands of German Government documents seized by the Allies at the end of World War II and translated into English by the State Department and the British Foreign Office. For a half-century, they have sat in select libraries, including that of Georgetown University here, attracting little attention.
Laws were different then, and American politicians who accepted foreign money would not necessarily have committed a crime. But the stakes for the country, and the world, could hardly have been higher.
Germany knew that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was committed to helping Britain and sensed that he was girding the American people for war. If Germany had to go to war with the United States one day, Professor Weinberg said, it wanted do so when its own Navy had been built up and while the United States Navy was weak. Those factors made Roosevelt, who had been Assistant Navy Secretary, the wrong President from the German perspective.
Even if Roosevelt could not be beaten in the 1940 election, he might have been hamstrung if the Democratic Party adopted a peace platform, or if the Republicans recaptured Congress. Isolationist fervor was generally stronger in the Republican Party than among Democrats.
Unlike the Germans, the British stayed out of American politics, Professor Weinberg said. They dearly wanted Roosevelt to win in 1940, but they feared that even a hint of meddling would further arouse the isolationists, who tended to blame Britain for involving the United States in the First World War. The British were also leery of stirring resentment among big-city Irish politicians whose support Roosevelt counted on.
Realizing that he was asking for a lot of money in that June 12, 1940, communique, Mr. Thomsen assured his Foreign Ministry that half the money the Congressman needed for the newspaper advertisements ''will, in all probability, be borne by his Republican friends.''
On June 25, 1940, during the Republican Convention, full-page newspaper advertisements urged delegates to adopt an antiwar platform. The advertisements were sponsored by the National Committee to Keep America Out of Foreign Wars, whose chairman was Representative Hamilton Fish, a Republican from upstate New York who detested Roosevelt personally and politically.
Other committee members were Representative Harold Knutson, Republican of Minnesota, and former Representatives Samuel B. Pettingill of Indiana and John J. O'Connor of New York, both Democrats.
Pettingill had been elected in 1930 and had chosen not to run again in 1938. O'Connor had been head of the House Rules Committee and had done his best to block New Deal legislation until Roosevelt helped to engineer his defeat in 1938.
As it turned out, the Republican convention nominated Wendell L. Willkie, a former utility executive, for President. Willkie was no isolationist, but his running mate, Senator Charles L. McNary of Oregon, was. And the party platform, while calling for ''preparedness,'' opposed American involvement in foreign wars.
Germany also tried to interfere in the Democratic National Convention in July. A German envoy in Mexico City wired Berlin on July 8, 1940, that ''about $160,000'' had been funneled to someone in the Pennsylvania Democratic Party for ''buying the approximately 40 Pennsylvania delegates to vote against Roosevelt'' at the Chicago convention. The money was also intended to help defeat Senator Joseph F. Guffey, a Pennsylvania Democrat the Germans considered hostile to their interests.
Senator Guffey was re-elected anyhow. Roosevelt was renominated by near acclamation after coyly feigning disinterest in a third term. He had already confounded the Republicans by shrewdly naming two prominent ones to his Administration: Henry L. Stimson as Secretary of War and Frank Knox as Navy Secretary. Both leaned toward intervention in the war.
The Pennsylvania delegates (there were 72, not about 40) voted for the President. But isolationist Democrats, led by Senators Burton K. Wheeler of Montana and David Walsh of Massachusetts, successfully pushed for a plank pledging to keep the United States out of overseas conflicts ''except in case of attack,'' the latter phrase added at Roosevelt's insistence.
Riveting as they are, the German communiques must be read with several caveats. The American isolationists were not so much pro-Nazi as antiwar (Hamilton Fish had fought with distinction in World War I), and if it is clear now that they were on the wrong side of history it was less so then.
It is not known how much money Berlin actually sent to the United States, or what was done with it. Nor is it known whether Mr. Thomsen was exaggerating when he boasted of his contacts among journalists and politicians.
Moreover, in 1940 it was not illegal per se, as it is today, for American politicians to accept foreign money, said Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and an expert on campaign finance. (But a 1938 law demanded that anyone accepting foreign money for propaganda in the United States register with the State Department.)
''Who knows who was getting what,'' Mr. Potter said, noting that then as now there were plenty of ways for ''soft money'' to find its way to a candidate, perhaps without his knowing its precise source.
Mr. Thomsen certainly knew the value of discretion. One message to Berlin emphasized that payments for propaganda were ''through trusted go-betweens.'' Nevertheless, he feared that disclosure of the payments ''would mean political ruin and have other grave consequences for our political friends.'' So he asked that the embassy be allowed to dispense with record-keeping.
On June 19, 1940, Mr. Thomsen assured his Berlin handlers that the embassy press aide was constantly in touch with cooperative American lawmakers to help them get good publicity. ''In this manner,'' he wrote, ''German influence is not visible to the outside and, thanks to the privilege of free postage enjoyed by American Congressmen, the cost of this large-scale propaganda can be kept disproportionately low.''
Senator Gerald P. Nye, a fervent isolationist Republican from North Dakota, is mentioned in a July 18, 1940, top-secret dispatch by Mr. Thomsen. The Senator had spoken favorably in the Senate about an antiwar book of the time -- so favorably that excerpts from the Congressional Record were being sent by isolationist groups to some 200,000 ''specially selected persons.''
''This undertaking is not altogether easy and is particularly delicate,'' Mr. Thomsen wrote, ''since Senator Nye, as a political opponent of the President, is under the careful observation of the secret state police here.''
Senator Rush Holt, an isolationist Democrat from West Virginia, was mentioned in a good light, having delivered a speech against ''British propaganda'' in the summer of 1940.
About 100,000 ''interested persons'' got copies of Holt's speech through the Congressional Record, Mr. Thomsen said, and the Senator had let it be known that he could arrange to have an additional 250,000 copies printed.
''For this operation we would have to contribute $3,000,'' Mr. Thomsen told Berlin, adding, ''Holt is also being subsidized from another direction.''
After Roosevelt was re-elected, Mr. Thomsen told Berlin that the President would continue to play ''on the easily excitable character of the American people.'' He added, presciently, ''The supreme law of his actions -- and we shall have to adapt ourselves to that during the coming four years -- is his irreconcilable hostility to the totalitarian powers.''
Photo: Representative Hamilton Fish, Republican of New York, was chairman of the National Committee to Keep America Out of Foreign Wars, which sponsored antiwar advertisements during the Republican convention in June 1940. Mr. Fish is shown in 1941 with postcards from voters in his upstate district. (Times Wide World)
Editor's Note: An article on July 23 described historical research on papers detailing a 1940 Nazi plan to finance a propaganda campaign in the United States. The article, headlined ''How Nazis Tried to Steer U.S. Politics,'' appeared with a photograph of Representative Hamilton Fish, Republican of New York, who was chairman of the National Committee to Keep America Out of Foreign Wars. The committee sponsored isolationist newspaper advertisements during the Republican Convention of 1940, but the research has found no evidence that Mr. Fish had any connections with the Nazis or was directly influenced by them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1992 Rosebud Denovo, an Anarchist Urban Guerrilla, dies defending People's Park in Berkeley

"Book investigates ‘What Really Killed Rosebud’"
Free speech… People’s rights…. Anarchy rules….  
Few people expressed these principles more demonstratively than the iconic Rosebud Abigail Denovo, the tormented homeless 19-year- old People’s Park resident who was fatally shot by an Oakland police officer on Aug. 25, 1992, after she illegally entered the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s residence, machete in hand. 
“What Really Killed Rosebud?,” a new book by Claire Burch, documentary filmmaker and East Bay homeless rights activist, investigates Rosebud’s short life and untimely death and gives a multifaceted view into her character.  
Was Rosebud Abigail Denovo – who’d changed her name from Laura Miller so her initials would spell the word “RAD” – fighting injustice and greed?  
Or was she a mentally ill and dangerous troublemaker who posed a threat to herself and others? 
Several chapters contain interviews with Rosebud’s friends and lovers, who speak evocatively of their appreciation for this 5-foot-1, 105 pound, blue eyed, brown haired, fierce, energetic and often angry activist. 
She’s remembered as articulate, opinionated and intelligent.  
Her friends’ grief is brought home to the reader by cold-blooded reportage from autopsy reports. 
What Really Killed Rosebud? Were the police impatient and disrespectful? Did they kill a young woman in order to protect the chancellor’s home furnishings? Did they send in a jittery officer – freshly back on the force after being shot five times by a burglar on his last case – on purpose to wipe Rosebud out?  
Or was Rosebud on a suicide mission, despondent over facing a court date for sentencing on a previous offense, seeking martyrdom by adding yet another act of near-futile resistance to a history of near-futile revolts against authority.  
One thing is certain: Rosebud’s short life was rough. Institutionalized in a psychiatric ward in childhood, she’d moved into an adulthood in which she couldn’t be certain of sleeping through the night.  
Homeless shelters were dicey, there were rumors she’d been raped, and when she slept outdoors she was often wakened in the early hours by a police officer’s flashlight shining in her face and curt orders: “Get moving, Denovo!”  
The officer who shot Denovo claimed he acted in self-defense. 
Rosebud’s friends felt regret that they hadn’t rushed to her defense. 
As with any legend, there are unanswered questions. 
The truth about Rosebud’s last moments will probably never be known. 
But Rosebud’s fight to provide a haven for the homeless in People’s Park, and to homeless rights, is broadly acknowledged. People’s Park – bordered by Telegraph Avenue, Bowditch Street, Dwight Way and Haste Street – has long been at the center of the struggle between people’s and institutional rights. 
A chronology at the close of Burch’s book describes the controversy over People’s Park, which started in 1957 when residents were evicted and houses demolished in order to make room for a UC Berkeley dormitory – which was never built. Eventually, the lot became an eyesore.  
But in 1969 – when locals planted flowers and put in a playground – UC Berkeley put up a fence and “No Trespassing” signs and then the real trouble began. People’s Park was at the center of riots against the Vietnam War.  
A “state of emergency” was called, and shotguns were fired. Over a hundred demonstrators were wounded, including Allen Blanchard who was permanently blinded, and James Rector who was killed.  
Does Rosebud’s spirit keep watch over the tamped down grass and the damp, worn, pawed-over donations in the “free box?” What will happen to small bedraggled People’s Park? And what will happen to the legacy that Rosebud and other protesters left behind?

Read the book "What Really Killed Rosebud?" at [link]

"Police Kill Protester at Berkeley In Break-In at Chancellor's Home"
1992-08-26 by Jane Gross from "New York Times" []:
A notorious local protester was shot and killed by the police today after breaking into the great stone mansion of Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien on the University of California campus here about 6 A.M. .
The intruder, 20-year-old Rosebud Abigail Denovo, was shot three times by an Oakland police officer after she attacked him with a machete, university officials said,
Ms. Denovo had been scheduled to stand trial next month for possession of explosive devices, which the police said they discovered last summer at a crude encampment in the Berkeley hills, along with a list of potential targets, including several university officials.
Found along with the explosives and the list, the police said, were crossbows, arrows, a book called "Anarchist's Cookbook" with instructions for making homemade bombs, a campus map and a diary with Ms. Denovo's fingerprints on it that made threatening references to Chancellor Tien.

Faced a Weapons Charge -
Ms. Denovo had also been arrested in the summer of 1991 for trespass and vandalism on campus and for carrying concealed weapons and attacking police officers at protests at People's Park. Volleyball courts were under construction there on university-owned land despite the objection of protesters and indigents who live on the unkempt 2.8-acre lot.
The Chancellor was unharmed in the incident today and, in fact, was unaware that someone had entered his house until he received a telephone call from the campus police, who were responding to a silent alarm.
The police instructed Mr. Tien to secure himself and his wife in the bedroom until reinforecments from the Berkeley and Oakland police forces arrived, including a bomb squad and a canine search unit. The Tiens had been escorted from the house by the time the shooting occurred, in a second-floor bathroom, police and university officials said.
Mr. Tien conducted business as usual today, on the eve of the new term at the flagship campus of the state university, and declined interviews. According to Linda Weimer, the assistant vice Chancellor for public affairs, Mr. Tien was "his usual upbeat self," busy with senior staff meetings about the fate of the athletic program, which has been hit hard by budget cuts.
Ms. Weimer said that the Chancellor, who is very sensitive to suggestions that the Berkeley campus is unsafe, was impressed by the quick work of security forces. In the Chancellor's two years in office, the school has seen more than its share of deadly incidents, including a hostage crisis at a popular campus bar that left one student dead and nine wounded, a fraternity house fire that killed three students, and the first on-campus murder in nearly two decades.
Today's violence recalled, most of all, the barroom hostage siege here in 1990, which ended in death for a deranged gunman with a history of psychiatric problems and a penchant for writing delusional letters to public officials.
Such crimes sometimes seem more common here than elsewhere in the nation, perhaps because the state of California in general, and the city of Berkeley in particular, are destinations of last resort for many people -- sort of emotional lands' ends.

Ran Away as Teen-Ager -
Ms. Denovo, whose real name is thought by law enforcement officials to be Laura Miller and who has been arrested at least a dozen times in the last 14 months, seems to fall into this category. According to court documents in the explosives case, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, who was a teen-age runaway from Lexington, Ky., who listed her address as "nomad" on police reports.
Ms. Denovo entertained ideas of overthrowing the government, blowing up the United States Capitol building, hijacking an MX missile, killing the President and the Pope and invading Chancellor Tien's home or office -- all schemes she wrote about in her diary.
That diary, and a probation report describing Ms. Denovo's long psychiatric history, were cited last winter in a copyrighted story in The San Francisco Examiner. An Alameda County District Attorney said today that the diary was sealed evidence in the pending explosives case, which has a second defendant, 30-year-old Andrew Barnum, who is also a well-known local protester.
The park was foremost in Ms. Denovo's mind when she used a propane torch to melt the molding on a basement window and let herself into the Tien house today, said Lieut. Patrick Carroll, chief investigator for the campus police.
Photo: Rosebud Abigail Denovo, who was shot and killed by an Oakland police officer after she broke into the mansion of Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien on the University of California campus in Berkeley. She is shown at a protest on the Berkeley campus in February 1991. (Associated Press)

CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

"Jury: CIA Involved in JFK Assassination"
from "The Spotlight" newspaper [link]:
Not a single major newspaper nor any national news broadcast has ever reported that on Feb. 6, 1985, a jury in Miami concluded that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
This is remarkable, if only because the verdict came in a court case featuring two international celebrities: Water gate burglar E. Howard Hunt -- perhaps the most infamous CIA operative in history -- and his courtroom nemesis -- attorney Mark Lane. Lane's ground-break ing best-seller, Rush to Judgment, had convinced millions of readers there had been a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, the Warren Commission's claims notwithstanding.
Scattered news reports did mention Hunt had lost a libel case against The SPOTLIGHT. However, no media reported what the jury forewoman had told the press:
Mr. Lane was asking us to do something very difficult. He was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.
Until 1992, when Lane recounted the trial in Plausible Denial and put forth additional compelling evidence of CIA complicity in the crime, the only substantive news reports about the trial appeared in The SPOTLIGHT. In issue No. 7 for 1985 (Feb. 18), The SPOTLIGHT announced its victory, detailing the remarkable events that led to the trial.
The affair was set in motion on Aug. 14, 1978, when The SPOTLIGHT published an article by former CIA official Victor Marchetti who revealed the CIA intended to publicly "admit" Hunt had been involved in the JFK assassination, acting as a "rogue" agent without CIA sanction.
A top CIA liaison to anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, Hunt was unknown to the public until the Watergate scandal that toppled President Nixon in 1974 brought Hunt ill fame. Then, after Watergate, when the Rockefeller Commission investigated CIA misdeeds, two eccentric writers alleged Hunt was one of three "tramps" photographed in Dallas minutes after the JFK assassination.
Subsequent investigation refuted the "Hunt as tramp" theory. However, scandal sheets had hyped the story and many came to believe Hunt had a hand in Dallas.
In 1976, growing skepticism about the Warren Commission's claim that a "lone assassin" had killed JFK forced the House of Representatives to convene a new assassination inquiry.
In the midst of the House investigation, an unusual development occurred:
As Marchetti's SPOTLIGHT article reported, an in-house CIA memo, ostensibly written in 1966 -- some 12 years previously -- was leaked to congressional investigators.
The memo stated Hunt had been in Dallas on the day of the JFK assassination, and that CIA officials were concerned the agency would one day have to explain Hunt's presence there.
The SPOTLIGHT subsequently learned CIA Director Richard Helms and the CIA's chief of counterintelligence, James Angleton, had signed off on the memo.
Marchetti suggested that because the CIA perceived Hunt to be a villain in the public's eye as a consequence of Watergate, the CIA had decided to sacrifice Hunt and "admit" he had been involved in the assassination.
The CIA would claim Hunt was acting on his own and that the CIA, as an institution, had no part in the president's murder. This would satisfy public demand for a resolution of the JFK controversy and the CIA itself would be absolved. Hunt would be left to fend for himself.
The SPOTLIGHT felt the article served as warning to Hunt about CIA intentions and Hunt himself admitted the story seemed plausible. Yet, Hunt still filed suit against The SPOTLIGHT.
When the case went to trial in federal court in Miami, the jury found in Hunt's favor, ordering The SPOTLIGHT to pay Hunt $650,000 in damages. However, an error in the jury instructions resulted in the verdict being overturned. After the case was ordered for retrial, Lane stepped in for The SPOTLIGHT's defense.
The highlight of the trial was when Lane presented the jury the testimony of Marita Lorenz, an ex-CIA operative who had worked with Hunt in plots against Fidel Castro.
Miss Lorenz testified that on Nov. 21, 1963 -- the day prior to the JFK assassination -- she arrived in Dallas in a two-car caravan from Miami. Accompanying her were several CIA operatives, armed with telescopic rifles, including Frank Sturgis who (years later) participated with Hunt in the Watergate burglary.
She didn't know the purpose of the mission, but upon arrival, the travelers met with Hunt, who acted as their paymaster, and also Jack Ruby who, days later, killed the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Uncomfortable, sensing something "big, very big," was impending, she left Dallas that same day. Later Sturgis told her how big the mission had been: the assassination of President Kennedy.
The jury listened carefully to her testimony, already suspicious of Hunt after his performance under Lane's cross-examination. Lane pointed out inconsistencies in conflicting stories by Hunt over the years about where he had been on Nov. 22, 1963. However, Hunt insisted to the jury that he was in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children that day.
Hunt's case collapsed when he was unable to explain, when questioned by Lane, why his teenage children had asked him if the rumors he was involved in the events in Dallas were true.
Obviously, if Hunt were in Washington on Nov. 22 he couldn't have been in Dallas.
Not surprisingly, the jury found in favor of The SPOTLIGHT. Yet, the major media said nothing about the stunning, historic revelations of this trial.
It was clearly the CIA's counterintelligence chief, James Angleton, who leaked the CIA memo placing Hunt in Dallas. In fact, Angleton's confidant, reporter Joe Trento (deposed by Lane in the Hunt case) has said -- based upon what Angleton told him -- that Hunt had been in Dallas and that it was Angleton who sent him there (Angleton's own denials notwithstanding). Three conclusions can be reached:
• The CIA had planned to throw Hunt to the wolves but evidently he and the CIA reached an accord since Angleton's loyal, longtime deputy, Newton Miler, was dispatched by the CIA to testify against The SPOTLIGHT in Hunt's defense;
• Because The SPOTLIGHT ex posed the intended CIA scheme to "admit" Hunt's complicity in the assassination, the operation was shelved; and,
• If there's anybody who knows what really happened in Dallas, it's Hunt.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1968, Richard Nixon's plan to make sure the Vietnam war continues at all cost (with the USA killing 5 million civilians by war's end)

"George Will Confirms Nixon's Vietnam Treason"
2014-08-12 by Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman for ""
President Nixon, with edited transcripts of Nixon White House Tape conversations during broadcast of his address to the Nation, on April 29, 1974.

Richard Nixon was a traitor.
The new release of extended versions of Nixon's papers now confirms this long-standing belief, usually dismissed as a "conspiracy theory" by Republican conservatives. Now it has been substantiated by none other than right-wing columnist George Will.
Nixon's newly revealed records show for certain that in 1968, as a presidential candidate, he ordered Anna Chennault, his liaison to the South Vietnam government, to persuade them refuse a cease-fire being brokered by President Lyndon Johnson.
Nixon's interference with these negotiations violated President John Adams's 1797 Logan Act, banning private citizens from intruding into official government negotiations with a foreign nation.
Published as the 40th Anniversary of Nixon's resignation approaches, Will's column confirms that Nixon feared public disclosure of his role in sabotaging the 1968 Vietnam peace talks. Will says Nixon established a "plumbers unit" to stop potential leaks of information that might damage him, including documentation he believed was held by the Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank. The Plumbers' later break-in at the Democratic National Committee led to the Watergate scandal that brought Nixon down.
Nixon's sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks was confirmed by transcripts of FBI wiretaps. On November 2, 1968, LBJ received an FBI report saying Chernnault told the South Vietnamese ambassador that "she had received a message from her boss: saying the Vietnamese should "hold on, we are gonna win."
As Will confirms, Vietnamese did "hold on," the war proceeded and Nixon did win, changing forever the face of American politics—with the shadow of treason permanently embedded in its DNA.
The treason came in 1968 as the Vietnam War reached a critical turning point. President Lyndon Johnson was desperate for a truce between North and South Vietnam.
LBJ had an ulterior motive: his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, was in a tight presidential race against Richard Nixon. With demonstrators in the streets, Humphrey desperately needed a cease-fire to get him into the White House.
Johnson had it all but wrapped it. With a combination of gentle and iron-fisted persuasion, he forced the leaders of South Vietnam into an all-but-final agreement with the North. A cease-fire was imminent, and Humphrey’s election seemed assured.
But at the last minute, the South Vietnamese pulled out. LBJ suspected Nixon had intervened to stop them from signing a peace treaty.
In the Price of Power (1983), Seymour Hersh revealed Henry Kissinger—then Johnson’s advisor on Vietnam peace talks—secretly alerted Nixon’s staff that a truce was imminent.
According to Hersh, Nixon “was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government [of South Vietnam] making it clear that a Nixon presidency would have different views on peace negotiations.”
Johnson was livid. He even called the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Everett Dirksen, to complain that “they oughtn’t be doing this. This is treason.”
“I know,” was Dirksen’s feeble reply.
Johnson blasted Nixon about this on November 3, just prior to the election. As Robert Parry of has written: “when Johnson confronted Nixon with evidence of the peace-talk sabotage, Nixon insisted on his innocence but acknowledged that he knew what was at stake.”
Said Nixon: “My, I would never do anything to encourage….Saigon not to come to the table….Good God, we’ve got to get them to Paris or you can’t have peace.”
But South Vietnamese President General Theiu—a notorious drug and gun runner—did boycott Johnson’s Paris peace talks. With the war still raging, Nixon claimed a narrow victory over Humphrey. He then made Kissinger his own national security advisor.
In the four years between the sabotage and what Kissinger termed “peace at hand” just prior to the 1972 election, more than 20,000 US troops died in Vietnam. More than 100,000 were wounded. More than a million Vietnamese were killed.
But in 1973, Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the same settlement he helped sabotage in 1968.
According to Parry, LBJ wanted to go public with Nixon’s treason. But Clark Clifford, an architect of the CIA and a pillar of the Washington establishment, talked Johnson out of it. LBJ’s close confidant warned that the revelation would shake the foundations of the nation.
In particular, Clifford told Johnson (in a taped conversation) that “some elements of the story are so shocking in their nature that I’m wondering whether it would be good for the country to disclose the story and then possibly have [Nixon] elected. It could cast his whole administration under such doubt that I think it would be inimical to our country’s best interests.”
In other words, Clifford told LBJ that the country couldn’t handle the reality that its president was a certifiable traitor, eligible for legal execution.
Fittingly, Clark Clifford’s upper-crust career ended in the disgrace of his entanglement with the crooked Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI), which financed the terrorist group Al Qaeda and whose scandalous downfall tainted the Agency he helped found.
Johnson lived four years after he left office, tormented by the disastrous war that destroyed his presidency and his retirement. Nixon won re-election in 1972, again with a host of dirty dealings, then became the first American president to resign in disgrace.

Stephen Willis, 2014-08-12:
This is confirmation that in 1968, less than five years after the assassination of President Kennedy, the Republicans and CIA were working to undermine a Paris peace agreement to install their mob-connected Richard Nixon.
Twelve years later, they were doing the same thing in Paris and Madrid to defeat Democrat Jimmy Carter and install Ronald Reagan. Robert Gates, George H.W. Bush and William Casey were identified by Robert Parry as the key operatives in the "October Surprise" campaign to prevent the release of 52 Iranian hostages until after Reagan was installed in 1980.
CIA meddling in elections was not limited to foreign nations in the Middle East and South and Central America. Since the termination of the Democratic Party president in 1963, they have been manipulating U.S. elections with impunity as reported by Robert Parry. This is a violation of their charter, just as egregious as their recent spying on a Senate Investigating Committee compiling a report on their illegal rendition and torture activities. While the President has "full confidence" in CIA Director Brennan, the U.S. Senate has done nothing to reassert control over the unitary executive. The clock is ticking. Will they act to rein in the president, or not?
We have witnessed the growth of a constitutional crisis since a partisan Supreme Court undermined the will of the voters and installed Republican George W. Bush into the White House in 2000. The corruption of the two-party system didn't start then, with the Democrat's capitulation, nor did it start on November 22, 1963. But it has evolved like a cancer since the bipartisan farce of the Warren Report and now thoroughly undermines our election system on behalf of the plutocracy. What are the available remedies?

Monday, August 11, 2014

A fascist myth... The Communist World Government

When the monopolist holding companies came out of World War 2 controlling 50% of the world's wealth, there was organised a propaganda campaign against the threat of the "World Communist Government".
Millions of dollars were used to fund community-based campaigns against communism, depicting the USA as an "underdog" against a monolithic world-wide communist conspiracy.
Government programs which subsidized the needs of the people against private profit was a main target for vilification, especially programs for healthcare.

1955-05-16 Keep America! Fight Communistic World Government:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Brazil, 1979 to 1985: Fascism's Hallmark of public and private sector security agencies acting in collusion against Labor Unions and Human Rights advocates

The “Black List” Documents suggest foreign automakers aided Brazil’s dictators;
A commission investigating the former junta unearths evidence that Volkswagen, Mercedes, Ford and other firms may have helped identify “subversives” on their payrolls.
2014-08-05 by Brian Winter, a "Reuters" newswire special report []:
CALLING THE TUNE: João Figueiredo (bald man at center left, in dark suit and tie), the last military ruler of Brazil, served as president from 1979 to 1985, when the generals handed power to civilians. Here he leads a parade through the streets of Sao Paulo, in 1980. REUTERS/Joao Bittar

SAO PAULO, Brazil – When João Paulo de Oliveira was fired in 1980 by Rapistan, a Michigan-based manufacturer of conveyor belts, his troubles were only beginning.
In ensuing years, the military dictatorship that ran Brazil arrested or detained him about 10 times. Police cars passed by his house in São Paulo’s industrial suburbs, he said, and officers would make throat-slashing gestures or wave guns at him.
Oliveira’s apparent offense: Being a union organizer during an era when the military considered strikes to be tantamount to communist subversion.
“I used to joke that my house was the safest in the neighborhood, with all the police,” said Oliveira, now 63. “But it was tough, really scary, like psychological torture.”
Worse, he said, local manufacturers refused to hire him for years afterward, vaguely citing his past. Other colleagues met the same fate. “We always suspected the companies were passing information on us to the police,” he said. “But we never knew for sure.”
Newly uncovered evidence suggests that Oliveira’s suspicions were well-founded.
A government-appointed commission investigating abuses during Brazil's 1964-1985 dictatorship has found documents that it says show Rapistan and other companies secretly helped the military identify suspected "subversives" and union activists on their payrolls. Among those named is Oliveira. The official report isn't scheduled to be released until December, but the commission allowed Reuters to review the evidence involving companies as the investigation nears its end.
Foreign and Brazilian companies are cited in the documents, including, most prominently, some of the world’s biggest automakers: Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp and the Mercedes-Benz unit of Daimler AG, among others.
No companies have been accused of any crimes. Whether they collaborated with the dictatorship, and to what extent, are in dispute. Nevertheless, human rights advocates and some of the workers named in the documents say they may pursue civil lawsuits or other legal action as a result of the commission's findings.
Some workers want the companies to pay reparations for lost wages. Others, including those who doubt the commission’s findings will be conclusive enough for a court case, say they would be satisfied with an apology.
The National Truth Commission was created in 2012 by President Dilma Rousseff, herself a former leftist militant who was jailed and tortured by the military in the early 1970s.
The commission is tasked with shedding new light on abuses during that era and who was responsible for them. The U.S.-backed dictatorship killed some 300 people and tortured or imprisoned thousands more in what it saw as a fight to stop leftists from turning Brazil into a giant version of Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
Rousseff, who is running for re-election in October, has expressed hopes that a fuller historical record will help ensure that Brazil, now a thriving democracy and rising economic power, never repeats that era’s mistakes.
Businesses in general benefitted from the dictatorship’s conservative policies. Academics have long believed that local and multinational companies helped the regime identify employees who were fomenting labor unrest or otherwise posed a supposed threat to stability.
Now, the commission’s researchers have discovered evidence that they believe proves such a relationship.

The documents do not provide a complete record of state repression during the dictatorship. Some papers from that period were burned by the military or otherwise vanished; some have been found in the past year in the homes of former officers after they died; others are scattered among state archives.
The commission’s most prized discovery to date is a document found in São Paulo state’s archives that researchers informally call “the black list.”
The typewritten list contains the names and home addresses of some 460 workers from 63 companies in an area of Greater São Paulo that is sometimes called “Brazil’s Detroit” because many foreign automakers are based there.
The list dates from the early 1980s. It was put together by the Department of Political and Social Order, or DOPS, a police intelligence agency that existed primarily to monitor and repress leftists. Historians say DOPS detained an undetermined number of people, including President Rousseff, and tortured many of them.
Volkswagen had the most employees on the DOPS list, with 73. Mercedes-Benz was second with 52.
The document does not say what DOPS used the list for, or what criteria were used to select the names. The document also does not indicate how DOPS obtained the information.
Rosa Cardoso, a lawyer who heads the truth commission’s subcommittee investigating abuses against blue-collar workers, said the list appears to have been used to monitor labor activists at a time when unions in Greater São Paulo were becoming more assertive in their demands for better wages and working conditions.
The document, or some version of it, may have also been circulated to companies to prevent workers from getting jobs elsewhere once they were fired, she said, based on interviews the commission has conducted.
The list includes so much proprietary information that, Cardoso argues, the data had to have been provided by the companies. More than half the entries on the list include the area of the factory where the workers labored. That information, made in handwritten notes next to the workers’ names, is highly specific, denoting either the department’s function (“Maintenance”) or its internal name (“Sector 4530”).
“It’s proof that these companies conspired to repress their workers,” Cardoso said.
Some scholars caution that it is possible that worker information was obtained by other means – for instance, via union informants, or by the DOPS itself. Asked about these alternative explanations, Cardoso said: “Not in these numbers, with this detail.”
Some documents uncovered by the commission more clearly indicate that companies passed information to the military.
Researchers found a two-page letter from São Paulo’s civil police force to the DOPS, dated March 9, 1981, regarding David Rumel, then a doctor for the metalworkers’ union.
The letter includes Rumel’s date of birth and home address but is mostly focused on his leftist past. It notes that he joined the Brazilian Communist Party as a student in 1971 and was imprisoned for five months from 1975 to 1976.
In the letter, the police state the information was “collected by the security service of Volkswagen Brazil.”
Rumel’s name did not appear on the “black list.” Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.
In response to detailed questions from Reuters about whether it provided information on Rumel and others to the military, Volkswagen Brazil said it has not yet been contacted by the truth commission. Yet, in a development that may be the first of its kind in Brazil, Volkswagen said it would initiate its own probe.
“Without knowledge of the concrete documents we aren’t able to give you answers to all your questions,” spokesman Renato Acciarto said via email. “But Volkswagen will investigate all indications to get more information about the company and the state institutions during the period of military (rule).”
“Volkswagen will throw light on this matter to get full knowledge” of what happened, he wrote.
Cheryl Falk, a spokeswoman for Luxembourg-based Dematic Group, which now owns Rapistan, said the company has “no documentation or records” with regard to employees at its Brazilian unit in the 1980s.
She added: “We value our employees and respect their privacy, and would not condone the conduct alleged” by the truth commission.
A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz in Brazil said that the company "does not confirm" giving information to DOPS, and that it "has among its values … the protection of the personal information of its employees."
Ford declined to comment. Toyota and Fiat, which now owns Chrysler, said they had no records of potential abuses during that era. “We would like to remind you that we’re talking about a period more than 30 years ago,” said Erick Boccia, a Toyota spokesman.
SUSPECTED OF SUBVERSION: A page from the so-called black list. In handwritten notes next to employees' names are the name or number of the department where they worked. João Paulo de Oliveira, for example, worked in "production." (Highlight added.) REUTERS/Brian Winter

Reuters interviewed 10 people whose names appeared on the “black list.” Most reported having been fired by the companies in the early 1980s, around the time the document appeared. Some said they were arrested at least once, sometimes at picket lines. Most reported problems later finding work.
None of the workers said they met with torture or extended imprisonment in the years after the list appeared. That tracks with historians’ findings that the military’s harshest tactics had largely ceased by the mid-1970s, as armed guerrilla groups diminished in number and more moderate generals gained influence.
Manoel Boni, 59, said he was fired by Mercedes-Benz after participating in a strike in 1980. In ensuing years, he repeatedly applied for positions as a lathe operator at other automakers outside São Paulo, including some factories that had posted openings for such jobs.  
The companies didn't hire him. Boni said he depended for extended periods on churches or help from friends. He eventually found work at a small factory near downtown Sao Paulo, some 12 miles (20 km) away.
Upon being shown the list for the first time by Reuters, Boni said: “My God, my God.”
“Sector 381,” he said, reading aloud the handwritten annotation next to his name. “Yes, that was quality inspection, where I worked.”
He paused for a long moment, reading the other names. “Many things make sense now,” he finally said.
Oliveira, the former Rapistan employee, had to leave town to find a new job. He didn't give up trying to recruit workers to his old union, though.
"We met at night, under trees, wherever was necessary," he said. He now works at an association for retired metalworkers.
Keiji Kanashiro, 70, was an economic adviser for Mercedes before he lost his job in 1980. In the following years, he said he often sent out 20 resumes a week, to no avail.
Kanashiro said he once met with a human resources representative from another large foreign automaker in Greater São Paulo. “He told me, ‘You’re on a list, and you’ll never work in the private sector again,’” Kanashiro said.
Not everyone on the list had such bad experiences. Geovaldo Gomes dos Santos, who worked in accident prevention for Volkswagen, said he felt like his bosses were trying to push him out in the early 1980s. He stuck with the job anyway, and finally retired from the company in 2003.
Still, he has vivid memories from the tough years. “If you supported the union, they treated you like a bug,” he said. “I’d like to see some justice for what happened to others.”
MARKED MAN: João Paulo de Oliveira, a union organizer during the days of the military regime, was among some 460 workers named on a watchlist compiled by a police intelligence agency. “We always suspected the companies were passing information on us to the police. But we never knew for sure.”
says João Paulo de Oliveira, blacklisted factory worker (REUTERS/Nacho Doce)

The big question looming over the commission’s work is what kind of justice is possible.
Unlike some other South American countries that experienced Cold War-era dictatorships, Brazil had never seen a concerted effort to investigate serious abuses.
That's partly because Brazil's military killed far fewer people than its regional peers. Argentina's 1976-1983 regime killed as many as 30,000 - about 100 times Brazil’s toll, in a country with roughly one-fifth the population. Prior to handing power back to civilians in 1985, Brazil’s military also negotiated a sweeping amnesty law that has to date prevented courts from prosecuting most "political crimes" from the dictatorship era.
As a result, some jurists are guarded about the chances of successful prosecutions.
“In theory, if a company contributed to or benefited from a violation of human rights, it can be held responsible,” said Marlon Weichert, a prosecutor and specialist in international human rights law at Brazil’s Public Ministry, a judicial body that could prosecute a case based on the commission’s findings.
Apprised of the truth commission’s work to date, Weichert said via email that the findings were “important,” but stressed he would need to see the full evidence before saying whether or precisely how a case against companies would be pursued.
Last year, prosecutors in Argentina filed criminal charges against three former Ford executives who allegedly gave names, home addresses and pictures of workers to Argentine security forces during that country’s dictatorship. Some of those workers were jailed and tortured. The three men deny the charges and have pleaded not guilty. The case is making its way through Argentine courts.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s truth commission may summon or invite the companies that figure most prominently on the “black list” to give their version of the story in coming weeks, said Sebastião Neto, who is overseeing the research on companies.

Others think the commission is overplaying its hand.
Augusto Portugal, a former Rolls-Royce employee who is on the list, is hoping for reparations from the companies. But he worries that, if the commission solicits their testimony based on inconclusive evidence, it could cause the companies to retreat behind a firewall of silence and lawyers.
Portugal has interviewed some 30 people on the list while writing a post-graduate thesis on the document, and says it isn’t completely clear where the information came from. “It’s obvious the companies collaborated” with the military, he said. “But you have to prove it.”
Also unclear is how actively Rousseff, despite her past, will support any efforts at prosecution. Some in her party wanted to include a “revision” of the 1979 amnesty law in her official re-election platform. That proposal has met resistance from some of her aides, who worry she has her hands full with a stagnant economy and declining popularity.
Others say the public attention given to the truth commission has been its own reward, by awakening a public debate about dictatorship-era crimes.
O Globo, a newspaper that is part of a media empire that championed military rule, issued an editorial last year saying “that support was an error” - prompting speculation that other companies might soon follow suit.
Meanwhile, some on the list take comfort that in the end, they arguably won.
The labor unrest at automakers in Greater São Paulo ended up spreading, weakening the military and leading to a managed transition to democracy in 1985. The union movement, emboldened, created a new political party: The Workers’ Party.
One of its founders, labor leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, became Brazil’s president in 2003. Rousseff is also a member of the Workers’ Party, and Brazil now has some of the world’s most generous labor laws.
“Lula always told us that, to really prevail in our battle, we’d need to found a party and try to change society,” said Kanashiro, the former Mercedes worker on the list, who is now a Workers’ Party official in Brasilia. “We never thought it would happen so fast. But that doesn’t change the fact that we want justice for these abuses.”

In this 1981 letter to Brazil's police intelligence agency, the civil police pass along information regarding a union doctor, David Rumel. It says the information was "collected by the security service of Volkswagen Brazil." (Highlight added.) REUTERS/Brian Winter

COMMUNIST: On the next page, the civil police highlight Rumel's past as a member of the "PCB" - the Brazilian Communist Party - and the time he spent in jail for unspecified reasons in the 1970s. REUTERS/Brian Winte

THE LIST: A page from what Truth Commission leaders call "the black list" - names, addresses and other data on some 460 union leaders and other workers in the early 1980s. Mercedes-Benz has the second-highest number of workers on the list, with 52. REUTERS/Brian Winter

VOLKSWAGEN: An entire page of the list with only Volkswagen employees. The German automaker had the most names on the list, with 73. REUTERS/Brian Winter

"An ugly chapter in Brazil’s history" by Brian Winter.
Labor in the years before, during and after Brazil’s military regime:

1959 Fidel Castro leads a revolution in Cuba, sparking fears all over Latin America that communists will take power.

1960 Brazilians elect a populist president, Janio Quadros, in a landslide.

1961 Quadros quits after 7 months in office in an apparently miscalculated bid to convince Congress to grant him greater powers. The military at first refuses to allow his vice president, João Goulart, to take office. The military ultimately yields.

1963 Under Goulart, unions gain political power. There are 302 strikes in Brazil, double the number in 1962. Wages increase, inflation hits 75 percent, per capita income shrinks for the first time since World War Two.

1964 With labor unrest spreading, the military deposes Goulart in a coup. Hundreds of blue-collar workers are detained. The military uses special emergency powers to replace the leaders at about two-thirds of large union federations.

1964-1979 Strikes become rare. By the late 1960s, growth often exceeds 10 percent a year. Profits soar for companies, but wages for the working class fall in real terms.

1979-1980 Strikes in Greater São Paulo spread, especially at automakers.

1981 Gastão Vidigal, a leading businessman, famously admits that he and others gave money directly to state security forces in the 1960s to repress “subversive” groups.

1985 In a carefully negotiated transition, the military returns power to civilian rule.

SOURCES: Reuters research; “How the 1964 Coup Was Organized,” by Rene Dreifuss; “The Ashamed Dictatorship” by Elio Gaspari.

Friday, August 1, 2014

During 1930s, freedom of speech was outlawed by major city governments

U.S. Supreme Court
SCHNEIDER v. NEW JERSEY, 308 U.S. 147 (1939)
308 U.S. 147




NICHOLS et al.

Nos. 11, 13, 18, and 29.
Argued and Submitted Oct. 13-16, 1939.
Decided Nov. 22, 1939.
No. 11

[308 U.S. 147, 149] Messrs. Joseph F. Rutherford and Olin R. Moyle both of Brooklyn, N.Y., for petitioner.

Mr. Robert I. Morris, of Newark, N.J., for respondent.
No. 13:
Messrs. Osmond K. Fraenkel, of New York City, and A. L. Wirin, of Los Angeles, Cal., for appellant.
Messrs. Frederick von Schrader, Ray L. Chesebro, Leon T. David, and Bourke Jones, all of Los Angeles, Cal., for appellee.
No. 18:
[308 U.S. 147, 152] Mr. A. W. Richter, of Milwaukee, Wis., for petitioner.
Mr. Carl F. Zeidler, of Milwaukee, Wis., for respondent.
No. 29:
[308 U.S. 147, 153] Messrs. Sidney S. Grant, of Boston, Mass., and Osmond K. Fraenkel, of New York City, for appellants.
Messrs. Edward O. Proctor and Paul A. Dever, both of Boston, Mass., for appellee.

Mr. Justice ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Four cases are here, each of which presents the question whether regulations embodied in a municipal ordinance [308 U.S. 147, 154] abridge the freedom of speech and of the press secured against state invasion by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, U.S.C.A. 1

No. 13.

The Municipal Code of the City of Los Angeles, 1936, provides:

'Sec. 28.00. 'Hand-Bill' shall mean any hand-bill, dodger, commercial advertising circular, folder, booklet, letter, card, pamphlet, sheet, poster, sticker, banner, notice or other written, printed or painted matter calculated to attract attention of the public.'
'Sec. 2801. No person shall distribute any hand-bill to or among pedestrians along or upon any street, sidewalk or park, or to passengers on any street car, or throw, place or attach any hand-bill in, to or upon any automobile or other vehicle.'
The appellant was charged in the Municipal Court with a violation of Sec. 28.01. Upon his trial it ws proved that he distributed handbills to pedestrians on a public sidewalk and had more than three hundred in his possession for that purpose. Judgment of conviction was entered and sentence imposed. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County affirmed the judgment. 2 That court being the highest court in the State authorized to pass upon such a case, an appeal to this court was allowed.

The handbill which the appellant was distributing bore a notice of a meeting to be held under the auspices of 'Friends Lincoln Brigade' at which speakers would discuss the war in Spain.

The court below sustained the validity of the ordinance on the ground that experience shows littering of the [308 U.S. 147, 155] streets results from the indiscriminate distribution of handbills. 3 It held that the right of free expression is not absolute but subject to reasonable regulation and that the ordinance does not transgress the bounds of reasonableness. Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 , 58 S.Ct. 666, was distinguished on the ground that the ordinance there in question prohibited distribution anywhere within the city while the one involved forbids distribution in a very limited number of places.

No. 18.

An ordinance of the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provides: 'It is hereby made unlawful for any person ... to ... throw ... paper ... or to circulate or distribute any circular, hand-bills, cards, posters, dodgers, or other printed or advertising matter ... in or upon any sidewalk, street, alley, wharf, boat landing, dock or ther public place, park or ground within the City of Milwaukee.'

The petitioner, who was acting as a picket, stood in the street in front of a meat market and distributed to passing pedestrians hand-bills which pertained to a labor dispute with the meat market, set forth the position of organized labor with respect to the market, and asked citizens to refrain from patronizing it. Some of the bills were thrown in the street by the persons to whom they were given and it resulted that many of the papers lay in the gutter and in the street. The police officers who arrested the petitioner and charged him with a violation [308 U.S. 147, 156] of the ordinance did not arrest any of those who received the bills and threw them away. The testimony was that the action of the officers accorded with a policy of the police department in enforcement of the ordinance to the effect that, when such distribution resulted in littering of the streets, the one who was the cause of the littering, that is, he who passed out the bills, was arrested rather than those who received them and afterwards threw them away. The Milwaukee County court found the petitioner guilty and fined him. On appeal the judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court. 4

The court held that the purpose of the ordinance was to prevent an unsightly, untidy, and offensive condition of the sidewalks. It distinguished Lovell v. City of Griffin, supra, on the ground that the ordinance there considered manifestly was not aimed at prevention of littering of the streets. The court approved the administrative construction of the ordinance by the police officials and felt that this construction sustained its validity. The court said: 'Unless and until delivery of the handbills was shown to result in a littering of the streets their distribution was not interfered with.'

No. 29.

An ordinance of the City of Worcester, Massachusetts, provides: 'No person shall distribute in, or place upon any street or way, any placard, handbill, flyer, poster, advertisement or paper of any description.'

The appellants distributed in a street leaflets announcing a protest meeting in connection with the administration of State unemployment insurance. They did not throw any of the leaflets on the sidewalk or scatter them. [308 U.S. 147, 157] Some of those to whom the leaflets were handed threw them on the sidewalk and the street, with the result that some thirty were lying about.

The appellants were arrested and charged with a violation of the ordinance. The Superior Court of Worcester County rendered a judgment of conviction and imposed sentence. The Supreme Judicial Court overruled exceptions. 5 That court held the ordinance a valid regulation of the use of the streets and sought thus to distinguish it from the one involved in Lovell v. City of Griffin, supra, which the court said was not such a regulation. Referring to the ordinance the court said: 'It interferes in no way with the publication of anything in the city of Worcester, except only that it excludes the public streets and ways from the places available for free distribution. It leaves open for such distribution all other places in the city, public and private.'

No. 11.

An ordinance of the Town of Irvington, New Jersey, provides: 'No person except as in this ordinance provided shall canvass, solicit, distribute circulars, or other matter, or call from house to house in the Town of Irvington without first having reported to and received a written permit from the Chief of Police or the officer in charge of Police Headquarters.' It further enacts that a permit to canvass shall specify the number of hours or days it will be in effect; that the canvasser must make an application giving his name, address, age, height, weight, place of birth, whether or not previously arrested or convicted of crime, by whom employed, address of employer, clothing worn, and description of project for which he is can- [308 U.S. 147, 158] vassing; that each applicant shall be fingerprinted and photographed; that the Chief of Police shall refuse a permit in all cases where the application, or further investigation made at the officer's discretion, shows that the canvasser is not of good character or is canvassing for a project not free from fraud; that canvassing may only be done between 9 A. M. and 5 P.M.; that the canvasser must furnish a photograph of himself which is to be attached to the permit; that the permittee must exhibit the permit to any police officer or other person upon request, must be courteous to all persons in canvassing, must not importune or annoy the town's inhabitants or conduct himself in an unlawful manner and must, at the expiration of the permit, surrender it at police headquarters. Persons delivering goods, merchandise, or other articles in the regular course of business to the premises of persons ordering, or entitled to receive the same, are exempted from the operation of the ordinance. Violation is punishable by fine or imprisonment.

The petitioner was arrested and charged with canvassing without a permit. The proofs show that she is a member of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and, as such, certified by the society to be one of 'Jehovah's Witnesses'. In this capacity she called from house to house in the town at all hours of the day and night and showed to the occupants a so called testimony and identification card signed by the society. The card stated that she would leave some booklets discussing problems affecting the person interviewed; and that, by contributing a small sum, that person would make possible the printing of more booklets which could be placed in the hands of others. The card certified that the petitioner was an ordained minister sent forth by the society, which is organized to preach the gospel of God's kingdom, and cited passages from the Bible with respect to the obligation so to preach. The petitioner left, or [308 U.S. 147, 159] offered to leave, the books or booklets with the occupants of the houses visited. She did not apply for, or obtain, a permit pursuant to the ordinance because she conscientiously believed that so to do would be an act of disobedience to the command of Almighty God.

The petitioner was convicted in the Recorder's Court. The Court of Common Pleas affirmed the judgment. On a further appeal the Supreme Court affirmed. 6 The Court of Errors and Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court. 7

The Supreme Court held that the petitioner's conduct amounted to the solicitation and acceptance of money contributions without a permit, and held the ordinance prohibiting such action a valid regulation, aimed at protecting occupants and others from disturbance and annoyance and preventing unknown strangers from visiting houses by day and night. It overruled the petitioner's contention that the measure denies or unreasonably restricts freedom of speech or freedom of the press. The Court of Errors and Appeals thought Lovell v. City of Griffin, supra, not controlling, since the ordinance in that case prohibited all distribution of printed matter and was not limited to ways which might be regarded as consistent with the maintenance of public order or as involving disorderly conduct, molestation of inhabitants, or misuse or littering of the streets, whereas the ordinance here involved is aimed at canvassing or soliciting, subjects not embraced in that condemned in the Lovell case. The Court said: 'A municipality may protect its citizens against fraudulent solicitation, and when it enacts an ordinance to do so, all persons are required to abide thereby. The ordinance in question was evidently designed for that purpose ....' [308 U.S. 147, 160] The freedom of speech and of the press secured by the First Amendment, U.S.C.A.Const., against abridgment by the United States is similarly secured to all persons by the Fourteenth against abridgment by a state. 8

Although a municipality may enact regulations in the interest of the public safety, health, welfare or convenience, these may not abridge the individual liberties secured by the Constitution to those who wish to speak, write, print or circulate information or opinion.

Municipal authorities, as trustees for the public, have the duty to keep their communities' streets open and available for movement of people and property, the primary purpose to which the streets are dedicated. So long as legislation to this end does not abridge the constitutional liberty of one rightfully upon the street to impart information through speech or the distribution of literature, it may lawfully regulate the conduct of those using the streets. For example, a person could not exercise this liberty by taking his stand in the middle of a crowded street, contrary to traffic regulations, and maintain his position to the stoppage of all traffic; a group of distributors could not insist upon a constitutional right to form a cordon across the street and to allow no pedestrian to pass who did not accept a tendered leaflet; nor does the guarantee of freedom of speech or of the press deprive a municipality of power to enact regulations against [308 U.S. 147, 161] throwing literature broadcast in the streets. Prohibition of such conduct would not abridge the constitutional liberty since such activity bears no necessary relationship to the freedom to speak, write, print or distribute information or opinion.

This court has characterized the freedom of speech and that of the press as fundamental personal rights and liberties. 9 The phrase is not an empty one and was not lightly used. It reflects the belief of the framers of the Constitution that exercise of the rights lies at the foundation of free government by free men. It stresses, as do many opinions of this court, the importance of preventing the restriction of enjoyment of these liberties.

In every case, therefore, where legislative abridgment of the rights is asserted, the courts should be astute to examine the effect of the challenged legislation. Mere legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities, but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the maintenance of democratic institutions. And so, as cases arise, the delicate and difficult task falls upon the courts to weigh the circumstances and to appraise the substantiality of the reasons advanced in support of the regulation of the free enjoyment of the rights.

In Lovell v. City of Griffin, supra, this court held void an ordinance which forbade the distribution by hand or otherwise of literature of any kind without written permission from the city manager. The opinion pointed out that the ordinance was not limited to obscene and immoral literature or that which advocated unlawful conduct, placed no limit on the privilege of distribution in the interest of public order, was not aimed to prevent molestation of inhabitants or misuse or littering of [308 U.S. 147, 162] streets, and was without limitation as to time or place of distribution. The court said that, whatever the motive, the ordinance was bad because it imposed penalties for the distribution of pamphlets, which had become historical weapons in the defense of liberty, by subjecting such distribution to license and censorship; and that the ordinance was void on its face, because it abridged the freedom of the press. Similarly in Hague v. C.I.O., 307 U.S. 496 , 59 S.Ct. 954, an ordinance was held void on its face because it provided for previous administrative censorship of the exercise of the right of speech and assembly in appropriate public places.

The Los Angeles, the Milwaukee, and the Worcester ordinances under review do not purport to license distribution but all of them absolutely prohibit it in the streets and, one of them, in other public places as well.

The motive of the legislation under attack in Numbers 13, 18 and 29 is held by the courts below to be the prevention of littering of the streets and, although the alleged offenders were not charged with themselves scattering paper in the streets, their convictions were sustained upon the theory that distribution by them encouraged or resulted in such littering. We are of opinion that the purpose to keep the streets clean and of good appearance is insufficient to justify an ordinance which prohibits a person rightfully on a public street from handing literature to one willing to receive it. Any burden imposed upon the city authorities in cleaning and caring for the streets as an indirect consequence of such distribution results from the constitutional protection of the freedom of speech and press. This constitutional protection does not deprive a city of all power to prevent street littering. There are obvious methods of preventing littering. Amongst these is the punishment of those who actually throw papers on the streets. [308 U.S. 147, 163] It is argued that the circumstance that in the actual enforcement of the Milwaukee ordinance the distributor is arrested only if those who receive the literature throw it in the streets, renders it valid. But, even as thus construed, the ordinance cannot be enforced without unconstitutionally abridging the liberty of free speech. As we have pointed out, the public convenience in respect of cleanliness of the streets does not justify an exertion of the police power which invades the free communication of information and opinion secured by the Constitution.

It is suggested that the Los Angeles and Worcester ordinances are valid because their operation is limited to streets and alleys and leaves persons free to distribute printed matter in other public places. But, as we have said, the streets are natural and proper places for the dissemination of information and opinion; and one is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place.

While it affects others, the Irvington ordinance drawn in question in No. 11, as construed below, affects all those, who, like the petitioner, desire to impart information and opinion to citizens at their homes. If it covers the petitioner's activities it equally applies to one who wishes to present his views on political, social or economic questions. The ordinance is not limited to those who canvass for private profit; nor is it merely the common type of ordinance requiring some form of registration or license of hawkers, or peddlers. It is not a general ordinance to prohibit trespassing. It bans unlicensed communication of any views or the advocacy of any cause from door to door, and permits canvassing only subject to the power of a police officer to determine, as a censor, what literature may be distributed from house to house and who may distribute it. The applicant must submit to that [308 U.S. 147, 164] officer's judgment evidence as to his good character and as to the absence of fraud in the 'project' he proposes to promote or the literature he intends to distribute, and must undergo a burdensome and inquisitorial examination, including photographing and fingerprinting. In the end, his liberty to communicate with the residents of the town at their homes depends upon the exercise of the officer's discretion.

As said in Lovell v. City of Griffin, supra, pamphlets have proved most effective instruments in the dissemination of opinion. And perhaps the most effective way of bringing them to the notice of individuals is their distribution at the homes of the people. On this method of communication the ordinance imposes censorship, abuse of which engendered the struggle in England which eventuated in the establishment of the doctrine of the freedom of the press embodied in our Constitution. To require a censorship through license which makes impossible the free and unhampered distribution of pamphlets strikes at the very heart of the constitutional guarantees.

Conceding that fraudulent appeals may be made in the name of charity and religion, we hold a municipality cannot, for this reason, require all who wish to disseminate ideas to present them first to police authorities for their consideration and approval, with a discretion in the police to say some ideas may, while others may not, be carried to the homes of citizens; some persons may, while others may not, disseminate information from house to house. Frauds may be denounced as offenses and punished by law. Trespasses may similarly be forbidden. If it is said that these means are less efficient and convenient than bestowal of power on police authorities to decide what information may be disseminated from house to house, and who may impart the information, the answer is that considerations of this sort do not empower a municipality to abridge freedom of speech and press. [308 U.S. 147, 165] We are not to be taken as holding that commercial soliciting and canvassing may not be subjected to such regulation as the ordinance requires. Nor do we hold that the town may not fix reasonable hours when canvassing may be done by persons having such objects as the petitioner. Doubtless there are other features of such activities which may be regulated in the public interest without prior licensing or other invasion of constitutional liberty. We do hold, however, that the ordinance in question, as applied to the petitioner's conduct, is void, and she cannot be punished for acting without a permit.

The judgment in each case is reversed and the causes are remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion. So ordered.

Reversed and remanded.

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS is of opinion that the judgment in each case should be affirmed.