Interview with Max Friedman
ZIEGLER: This is the Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler on RighTalk Radio on Independence Day 2005: 230 years of freedom.
We're interviewing today Mr. Max Friedman. Scott, you have known Mr. Friedman for a number of years. Can you give us some background and introduce Mr. Friedman to our guests.
SWETT: Well, I wouldn't actually say a number of years. I think that we're right about now coming up on one year, if I'm not mistaken.
Mr. Friedman has an extensive background in the anti-war movement that dates back to the 1970s and '60s during the height of the anti-Vietnam protests. In fact, he spent time undercover with a number of the key organizations working for the government, gathering information about their activities to undermine the U.S. support for the war.
Mr. Friedman, welcome to the show.
FRIEDMAN: Nice to be here.
SWETT: Let's start with that. Let's talk a little bit about what it was like from your perspective to be inside some of these major focal points of the anti-war movement.
FRIEDMAN: I got into it by accident. I was doing a graduate paper on public opinion in Vietnam when I was at American University, and I knew what the VFW and American Legion and some of the other groups were saying as their reasons for supporting our efforts in Vietnam.
What I wanted to know for the paper, for the course, was what were the opponents saying, what were they basing their opposition on, and I realized that I wasn't getting enough information out of the newspapers to do a fairly in-depth paper; therefore, I decided to start going to meetings and talking to people and see what they were talking about and what their motivations were. The deeper I got into it, the more I realized that this movement was not kosher, that the people who were leading it eventually through knowledge would turn out to be communists from various groups. The people who were the followers were actually the sheep despite some really good basic motivations for peace, conscientious objectors and moral basis, but they had no influence.
So as I joined one group after another, especially here in Washington, which was the hub of the activity, I began to know the cast of characters, and the cast of characters did not have the red, white and blue at heart. It was mainly the red.
I joined the Washington Mobilization Committee, formed the Washington Peace Council, a member of the Student Mobe, the -
ZIEGLER: And mobe means mobilization committee?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, to end the war in Vietnam. These were a successor of communist united fronts that started in 1967. They had the Spring mobe, November mobe in '67. Then they moved to the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam in 1968/69, and in 1970 as a member of National Mobe, I attended the founding convention of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, which was its successor, and then there was a split after I got out of it between the Communist Party, which formed the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice, and the Trotskyite Communists from the Socialist Workers Party, Young Socialists Alliance, who formed the National Peace Action Coalition.
By being inside, I was able to watch the ideological infighting between the Stalinists and the Trotskyites, and the great part about this was that I would talk to the Trotskyites and they would love to badmouth the Stalinists, and vice versa. So you were getting information from people who knew the real identities of the other people they were dealing with as opposed to the other people who were sitting in the audience who had no idea what was going on who really could care less.
SWETT: So what we have here in effect is a very small number, no more than two or three, major groups controlling large chunks of the anti-war movement basically battling for supremacy. Is that essentially an accurate picture?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, and this happened not only in the anti-war movement but on the campuses where the WEB DuBois Club was formed by the Communist Party. They tried to take over the student movements there, and they got ousted by the Trotskyites who formed a student mobilization committee to end the war in Vietnam.
The Trots had more people on campus, four more chapters, that just took over everything and threw the Communist Party out.
So the Communist Party became a minor factor on the campus, and when you look at the issues of the Student Mobilizer, you look at all the names of the people who led the chapters, and they were all Young Socialist Alliance members or Socialist Workers Party members.
SWETT: How did you know --
ZIEGLER: It was purely a ruse that they threw the Communist Party out because they were socialists themselves.
FRIEDMAN: Yeah, but the ideological infighting was very intense. They would be civil to each other in the open with the united front approach, but behind closed doors there was a lot of snipping and infighting, and I understand at other meetings it actually got fairly nasty, that Terence Hallinan, who is now the district attorney for San Francisco, known as KO Hallinan because he was a boxer, used to go over and punch out Trotskyites at various meetings. They finally had to pull him in because he was just making a spectacle out of himself.
But the united front groups such as Washington Mobilization were a combination of both the Communist Party in the upper echelon leaderships and the Trotskyites in the bodies, the staff of the various Mobe offices. And this went on until after the April 1971 demonstration that John Kerry helped lead because at that time there were joint offices with all the different groups involved. But finally the ideological split got so great that they just split.
By '74 the Trotskyite group, National Peace Action Coalition, had faded to almost nothing, and Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, which is largely a communist party, still stayed around but was then had been preempted by Tom Hayden's Indochina Peace campaign, which was actually a more native born pro-Hanoi communist movement than the Stalinist groups.
SWETT: Okay, so what you're giving us is pretty much an overview for what was also happening within the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which many of us took a hard look at during the last election's campaign, last year's campaign.
The Revolutionary Communist Party was in 1971 and into '72 in the process of doing just that kind of takeover, were they not, of the VVAW?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, but there were also other groups. I was reading Gerald Nicosia's book last night and some items from the Congressional Record -
SWETT: That's "Home to War."
FRIEDMAN: -- and what was happening is the Communist Party had some influence on the Vietnam Vets Against the War, which I'll just call VVAW, by actually setting up the original meetings that created with Jan Barry and some of the others, one of whom was Carl Rogers.
SWETT: This was back in '66.
FRIEDMAN: I think it was '67 by then.
FRIEDMAN: It came out of a group called Veterans for Peace, which was an old congressionally-identified Communist Party front, and the person in charge of that was LeRoy Wolins out of Chicago, who wore many hats out there. Besides being a member of the Communist Party, he was with Veterans for Peace and Chicago Peace Council and a bunch of other groups, and he was the man in the various Mobe groups, especially New Mobe at the convention I attended, where he handled the GI affairs. In fact, he sat two rows behind me. And just to update how red he still is, LeRoy Wolins was one of the people responsible for the Paul Robeson stamp that came out January of this year, and the Communist Party was bragging about it.
So some of the old Reds just never died; they just smell that way.
We always have a little humor within the movement just to -- otherwise, it's so boring sometimes you'd go to sleep.
SWETT: A lot of doctrinal type statements.
How did you - what was the transition for you between starting out as essentially an interested observer and winding up being undercover? Or is that something you can even talk about?
FRIEDMAN: Oh yeah, yeah. I did it purely - it's funny. I was actually the head of a little group called the National Committee to Support our Troops in Vietnam, so I'm running letters to the papers in Washington at the same time I'm undercover with a slightly different name.
So I had two roles, and I never took it seriously in the beginning because I figured all right, I'll go in, I'll find my information for the paper, and come out and do that and that's the end. But then when I got in, I began to see that deception and subversion were the rule, and there were a lot of good people who were duped into joining the movement and supporting it and funding it who probably never would have done so if they knew who actually was running it. And the problem -
SWETT: Useful idiots.
SWETT: Useful idiots, in Lenin terms.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, but some of them were also motivated by religious convictions, and they were neutral in terms of ideology. They just basically wanted the fighting to end, and these were good people. I have nothing against them.
It's the intellectuals and the academics who basically did buy into being useful idiots because they were often told who was running the affair, and they still joined.
Now, an example of an honest Democrat, a liberal Democrat, was Lester Wolf from New York, who when he was told about who was running New Mobe, denounced them publicly in the congressional record and withdrew any support that he and some of his other congressmen might have given them in terms of endorsing the November 1969 march. Lester, I think, was an honest person. Unfortunately, you can't say that for too many of them today.
SWETT: I think we should take a moment to assure our audience that Mr. Friedman is wearing a mask to protect his identity from any vengeful anti-war protestors who may be listening to our show at this time.
We have just published a new article that you have written called, "Did the KGB use John Kerry," in which you present some very interesting new information about exactly how John Kerry came to be speaking at a huge rally, half a million people, organized by the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, the PCPJ, right at the end of the week in which the Vietnam Veterans Against the War so memorably protested in Washington D.C. and in which John Kerry spoke before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Could you maybe sketch out some of the arguments there.
FRIEDMAN: Essentially a lot of information that we did for the book for "Unfit for Command" and in subsequent writing had been out there in files and in archives for decades, but had never been put together in a coherent context because nobody ever had really called for that need.
One of the results of doing research on "Unfit for Command" was I went back and pulled out a lot of my old files, a couple of the men went down to Texas Tech and Jerry Corsi did a lot of work, and we found documents which by themselves didn't mean too much, but when you put it into the time frame that was being developed about John Kerry's anti-war activities, really began to fill in the holes and began to give some context to what was going on.
One of those was his role as a leader of Vietnam Vets Against the War along with Barry Romo for the Operation Dewey Canyon protest during the April 1971 demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.
Those demonstrations were a joint project of PCPJ, Peoples Coalition for Peach and Justice, which was run by the Communist Party, and the National Peace Action Coalition, and it was done at the behest of the North Vietnamese. Either the North Vietnamese ambassador or Madame Binh, the VC representative, called for this united front because there had been so much of this ideological bickering between the two groups.
SWETT: Okay, so here we have the North Vietnamese and their puppets, the VC, not merely talking to and negotiating with the anti-war movement, but actually directing its activities.
FRIEDMAN: I would say they definitely directed a good part of it, but we have to qualify this, because right now the documents - a lot of the documents we know should exist are not accessible to the public or may have been destroyed. This would be FBI and French surveillance documents, any wiretaps they would have, and things that were in print, and work is being done now to try to track these down from various sources so we can actually publish more of them and show or support the contentions that we're having.
One of the contentions I've made is that the north Vietnamese had very distinct links to the anti-war movement through the Communist Party in the beginning. They did not have very strong links to the Trotskyite communists, even though the Trotskyites were supporting them.
It was through the identified Communist Party members in New Mobe and PCPJ that VVAW began to function around the world and go to various meetings, and this was in some of the work that, Scott, that you had published on Winter Soldier magazine about Al Hubbard's trip to Paris and other places being financed by the Communist Party.
SWETT: To North Vietnam in late 1971, yes.
FRIEDMAN: And that came out of FBI files that had been declassified and had been put on the Internet.
SWETT: You raise an interesting point, which is that although the FBI files on the VVAW as an organization are available, and of course, we made them available online, the individual files from all of the key players in the anti-war movement are not because they're not accessible via Freedom of Information Act. So how do we go about, you know, piecing that together?
FRIEDMAN: well, some of the work I did on "Unfit for Command" was done with the public files at the National Archives. Most of those files are basically newspaper clippings from around the country, and they're often very useful because they have quotes and photographs.
There were also the House Internal Security Committee's hearings on both the New Mobilization Committee and then NPCPJ where they put in a lot of documents. Then you had more work done in terms of the private files a number of us had where we were able to pull out the Al Hubbard letter of April '71 asking - saying that PCPJ was actually helping them plan their Vietnam Vets Against the War's programs.
SWETT: And noting that they had worked together closely in the past and essentially the VVAW was in their debt.
FRIEDMAN: That's it. And there was also a cross membership link. Al Hubbard belonged to PCPJ as well as VVAW, and then Hubbard joined many other groups throughout the years, most of them congressionally-identified communists and Soviet fronts.
ZIEGLER: Max, in the chronology, you're already into 1971, but in May of 1970 John Kerry marries Julia Thorn and they take their honeymoon in Paris, France. Concurrently with that honeymoon, you have the peace negotiations happening within Paris with Madame Binh and Le Duc Tho from the Vietnamese side of the street, the North Vietnamese side of the street. How does a current reserve Naval lieutenant from the U.S. Navy walk into Madame Binh's office in Paris? How does that happen?
FRIEDMAN: It doesn't just happen. It has to be set up through contacts. This is what more recent research has uncovered, including a piece on Pittsburgh Online, which said that Dave Dave Dellinger from New Mobe and PCPJ, who is an old-line communist, was the contact for Kerry with the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese in Paris. Actually, the PRG Vietcong liaison office was outside of Paris, so it's not something you just walk into on your honeymoon. You know, it's like go to Paris and meet the Vietcong while you're at it.
This apparently - there had to be a contact to get Kerry cleared to go see them and to set - make up the arrangements because you and I cannot walk into their mission off the street and get to see somebody. In fact, you probably would never even get inside the mission.
FRIEDMAN: There's other evidence that this also existed through an international committee group apparently out of the New Mobe and PCPJ groups, and there are - hopefully there are documents still in existence which will give you more information, but the name Dave Dellinger and the name Cora Weiss and a couple of the others all show up in these contacts.
Now, there's another contact that I know Scott is just dying to get to, and that's how Kerry got to be on the speaker's platform of the April 24th, 1971, demonstration, and I want to link this together as a way of showing how key communists were the contacts between Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the anti-war movement, and the North Vietnamese and Vietcong around the country.
Scott, is it okay with you if I go along this point for the moment?
SWETT: Sure. We're talking about Abe Feinglass -
SWETT: - who is identified by several sources as Communist Party USA leader. He was - I think he was the head of one of the big meat cutters unions. Is that correct?
FRIEDMAN: Yes. And by the way, the meat cutters and butcher workmen's union.
SWETT: And at that time that union was controlled by Communist Party activists. Go ahead and take it from there.
FRIEDMAN: That union had been controlled for decades - in fact, they elected one of their Communist Party leaders, Charlies Hayes, to congress in the 1980s.
What happened was that PCPJ and Vietnam Veterans Against the War had a working relationship for the April 24th, 1971, demonstration in Washington, which was separate from the Vietnam Veterans Against the War Operation Dewey Canyon demonstration held a little bit earlier.
SWETT: The week leading up to that Saturday.
FRIEDMAN: And what happened was that Kerry was a speaker for Vietnam Veterans Against the War and he was on the speaker's platform on the - I think it was the west steps of the capitol on April 24th, 1971, and next to him with a clipboard and directing it was Abe Feinglass from the Communist Party, who in my opinion was also a Soviet agent of influence because of his contacts and ties to international Soviet fronts that were run by the KGB.
ZIEGLER: Wow. That's the music. We're going to be back in a few minutes after we pay some bills on this Independence Day to talk to Mr. Max Friedman and continue this interesting discussion about the Communist Party USA's influence in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and other American groups.
We'll be back in a couple of minutes.
ZIEGLER: This is The Inquisition on RighTalk.com with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler on Independence Day. We're interviewing Mr. Max Friedman.
You were just discussing Mr. Abe Feinglass, who was identified with the Communist Party USA and a World Peace Council leader and telling how he was on the steps next to John Kerry, on the west steps of the Capitol next to John Kerry. Take it from there, Mr. Friedman.
FRIEDMAN: Okay. We had a little fun with it. They did a film on John Kerry during the election showing him in his various phases from Vietnam to the demonstrations.
One of the film clips was of John Kerry getting ready to give his speech on the steps of the Capitol on April 24th, 1971, and in that particular photograph, or actually in the film clip and in the photographs we isolated, there were four people on the platform: John Kerry, two people I could not identify, and a little bald-headed guy in a black coat and a clipboard, who was Abe Feinglass.
As I mentioned earlier, Abe Feinglass had been a long-time identified Communist Party labor leader in the Amalgamated Meat Cutters' and Butcher Workmen's Union, AFL-CIO. As a vice-president of the union, he was also a representative to international communist fronts, especially the labor fronts, World Federation of Trade Unions. Therefore, he got to go around the world, and since the World Federation of Trade Unions and the World Peace Council and the others were all run by the KGB and by the Central Committee of the Soviet Union, he was the logical person to be the conduit for KGB orders for not only the Communist Party and labor in the United States but for the Communist Party representatives who were members of the anti-war movement. Abe Feinglass was a member of the steering committees of the various Mobes.
What's interesting, though, is I like to go to communist sources for material rather than some of my own because the people who were writing these materials were basically being very open and very honest, and I would rather take their material and quote their words so that the public understands that I'm not the only one making this allegation or statement.
A Google search was found on Jack Kurweil, who was writing from MIT. He was a member of the Communist Party and he was married to Betina Aptheker, the daughter of the late theoretician of the Communist Party, Herbert Aptheker.
Kurweil wrote about the people on the speaker's platform. This is very important. He said, "New elements of support for the anti-war movement were evident at the speaker's platform. Women, workers, blacks, Chicanos, students, radicals and GI's were all representative in front of the capitol. Included among the speakers were Abe Feinglass from the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen, Harold Givens, vice-president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Coretta King, Ralph Abernathy, Representative Bella Abzug, and John Kerry from the VVAW."
SWETT: Okay, so -
FRIEDMAN: If he said he was there and the film shows he was there, I'm going to say all right, now we've got Kerry locked in among a bunch of people who are from the Communist Party, and -
SWETT: Okay, let's back up just a step. Okay, here he is. He's on the platform. There's very little question that Feinglass at least, is a hard-core communist, and possibly, as you suggest, a KGB agent of influence. But merely the fact that he's giving a speech in a sequence of speeches by guys that actually are communists, where's the hard connection that says okay, the reason John Kerry is here giving this speech is because of Feinglass? How do we connect those dots?
FRIEDMAN: This is implied because of the fact that Feinglass was on the steering committee of the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice and he was on the platform as the only identifiable senior leader of that particular group, and with the clipboard in his hands, it looked like he was telling the people to come up and speak or had chosen the people who were going to come up and speak, and he was directing this.
SWETT: So, at a minimum it requires Abe Feinglass's blessing for John Kerry to give that speech.
FRIEDMAN: Yeah, to be on that platform, but because of Feinglass's role in the anti-war movement among and leading the so-called anti-war labor people and his long, long membership in the Communist Party, there's no question that the people in PCPJ chose him as a leadership role at that particular place at that particular time.
Now, there were other communists also out there who were working on the demonstration, some behind the scenes, some by speakers. You had Representative Bella Abzug as one of the speakers, and Bella Abzug's identification as a member of the Communist Party has not been made public, but we're hoping in the future to have the documentation showing that she was a covert member of the Communist Party and that she also, based on her record in the 1940s, was probably a Soviet agent of influence. Her contacts as a student and then in politics with the various Soviet International fronts went way beyond anything that just a so-called peace protestor would actually have.
SWETT: Is it possible that this removed to have any sense for how much John Kerry could have known about, you know, exactly who he was dealing with or could he have been under the illusion these were, you know, merely honest people opposing the war?
FRIEDMAN: This is a two-fold issue. One is what was known publicly at the time that he might have been aware of as opposed to what he was thinking about himself. There were hearings on Impact and PCPJ, and New Mobe had been going on since 1969 with Mike's testimony.
So there was information out there that Abe Feinglass had been identified as a member of the Communist Party, and a good number of the people from New Mobe and PCPJ: Leo Fenster, Irving Sarnoff, Leroy Wolins, and a good number of others were identified as party members and were in the regional offices, the head of the regional offices, of New Mobe and then PCPJ.
So if he was interested in it, the information was out there in print and some of it in the newspapers. Whether he saw it or not is another question, one I cannot answer.
The second point is that Kerry was an opportunist. He would use anybody and everybody to advance his own goals. He did this in Vietnam, as we showed in the book "Unfit for Command." He did it in politics when he was working with Drinan and a number of the others.
Every time there was an opportunity to advance himself, either in publicity or politically, he took that opportunity, and a good example was his 1972 running for - getting ready to run for congress because he jumped out of Vietnam Veterans Against the War just at the time that the Maoists were making their push to take over the organization, which they completed in mid to late '73. And this is where you mentioned the Revolutionary Communist Party -
FRIEDMAN: - and also the Revolutionary Union, which was another small faction led by H. Bruce Franklin, who is now a professor at Rutgers.
So Kerry - I don't think he gave a damn who he worked with. He was - he may have been genuinely anti-Vietnam, but when you look at his speeches and the fact that he allowed Al Hubbard to stay in Vietnam Vets Against the War against their own constitution, he just didn't care. Okay?
I think that the not caring is probably more important from my point of view than the fact that he would have done something consciously. I don't think he's smart enough to do something that conscious. But also his contacts with the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong in Paris, at least on one trip in 1970, and maybe even later, really raised a lot of questions of is this guy stupid or did he really just not care and think that he was going to be the great leader of the anti-war movement and rise up through the ranks into politics, which is what he did, and that's how he got elected.
He didn't get elected because he was a brilliant guy. His activities since and his record in congress show that he's not a brilliant guy. He's good at bluffing and covering up things, but if you look at him for merit, there just isn't anything there.
SWETT: Well, at a minimum it seems that there were a number of very hard Left or very unsavory characters also in Vietnam Veterans Against the War that Kerry didn't draw the line at working with.
Scott Camil, long before Kerry decided to leave the VVAW, had already raised the topic of assassinating United States senators. He originally wanted to do that at the Dewey Canyon protest, which that hasn't received a lot of publicity to this point. Most people are familiar with the November '71 thing.
Then you've got Joe Bangert and people like Joe Urgo. Can you comment on some of the really hard-core folks who were movers and shakers in the VVAW from the far Left?
FRIEDMAN: In the beginning - this is what I was reading in Nicosia's book the other night - you had Jan Crumb and six or seven other guys who formed the organization. Out of that group, I could only identify one who I personally knew who I knew was hard core, and that was Carl Rogers. The others disappeared: A fellow named Rocks (phonetic) and a few of the others, you never heard of them after a year or so.
What happened was Scot Camil had came in, and I think the guy was certifiably whacko because of statements he made himself, allegations he made about war crimes which were physically impossible for anybody to do.
SWETT: For example?
FRIEDMAN: I believe he was he the one that said he skinned 150 bodies of Vietnamese men and women in one day or something. You can't do that. You can't skin a body -
SWETT: Just mechanically you can't do it that fast.
FRIEDMAN: Right, not 150, and if there was 150, it would have been all over Vietnam propaganda, even if it was 10 it would have been out there, and there was just - I don't ever recall the Vietcong ever claiming this. So his claims were outlandish.
Now, Camil's war record was admirable. He had a good record as a combat soldier. But I think he just snapped and he just went off on the loony Left of VVAW, and he was joined by others who were also very hard-core Maoists.
And you have Barry Romo and you got guys like Bangert, you've got Urgo. These people show up not only often in the Revolutionary Communist Party, but also in Vets for Peace today, Vietnam Veterans Against the Iraqi War.
SWETT: Iraq Veterans Against the War, I think they call it.
Well, Bangert continues to be a close confidant of Kerry to this day. He was on the platform where Kerry introduced his band of brothers at the Democratic National Committee, so that he hasn't disavowed him in any way, shape or form.
FRIEDMAN: No. I think he was also an organizer for Kerry in terms of veterans going out in the various states to organize.
Again, this calls into question whether Kerry knew about these guys' backgrounds or whether he really cared. If he knew about it and allowed them to work with him, that's one thing. If he didn't care, it shows the man just has no moral base of operation. He's just a pure opportunist.
SWETT: Some would say that makes him the perfect politician.
FRIEDMAN: It would, but he's not the kind of guy I want representing me. I mean, I don't really care if I have a liberal or conservative representing me if they're an honest person and they go into this eyes wide open. If you go into it eyes wide shut and use everybody and really hurt your country, then I have a total objection to that kind of person.
SWETT: Let's switch gears a bit. You were talking earlier about an allegation by a reporter that David Dellinger was the guy that actually put Kerry in touch with the North Vietnamese communists in Paris in mid 1970. Can you elaborate a little bit on who Dellinger was and what his background is. I think he's largely forgotten today.
FRIEDMAN: Fortunately for the world, Dellinger died last year. They say don't speak ill of the dead. I speak ill of traitors, and Dellinger was that. He was supposedly a pacifist during World War II, but he refused to do any alternative service.
Now, there are a lot of conscientious objectors, especially from some of the religious minority groups, who did alternative service. They worked in the hospitals. Many - some of them actually worked as combat medics.
Dellinger did not oppose Hitler at a time when he was committing mass genocide around the world. That really calls into question his commitment to peace, and as we will talk about later, I assume, I'm going to get into some of the really good stuff.
ZIEGLER: We are going to get into the good stuff. You hear the music in the background.
This is RighTalk.com, The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler, and we're interviewing Mr. Max Friedman. We'll be back after this break and we'll continue the discussion on Independence Day about traitors and freedom and -
SWETT: And other good stuff like that.
ZIEGLER: - and other good stuff like that.
ZIEGLER: This is RighTalk.com with The Inquisition, Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler, and we're talking to Mr. Max Friedman.
You know, gentlemen, in this discussion we've been having, these names are almost like they're from ancient history. I think it's great to document this, but last week when the president gave a speech at Ft. Bragg, John Kerry came out that night and just ripped the president, and it reminded me of the speeches from the 1970s in which John Kerry was ripping President Nixon for the conduct of the war in Vietnam.
Mr. Friedman, can you connect those things for me.
FRIEDMAN: Yes. When I heard John Kerry's sort of rebuttal speech to that, I said, "Here we go again." It's literally identical, point by point, to Kerry's arguments and senate presentation that there was a - the Vietcong had a seven-point peace plan, how to get out - it was seven to eight - and withdraw U.S. troops, and then the POWs would be released.
The other night when Kerry made his rebuttal, he said, you know, essentially, set a date, Mr. President. Start withdrawing troops. Do this and do that and then let the Iraqis settle their own fate, which is exactly the old communist line of self determination of the people of Vietnam, which meant North Vietnamese troops coming in and determining it for them. In this case it would be letting the terrorists come in and decide the fate of the Iraqi people.
So there's a lot of deja vu here, and a lot of the same players are still around. Cora Weiss is still around working on Iraq. Dellinger was until he died. But you've also got some other people that you know from their protests that don't get a lot of adequate coverage, and that's the old Trotskyite now Stalinist group called Workers World Party, who actually held the first anti-Vietnam demonstration in the United States in 1967.
Today they have front groups known as ANSWER and the International Action Center and use Ramsey Clark as their front man. So you have Brian Becker, who came out of Youth Against War and Fascism and Workers World Party in the early 1970s, and you have Larry Holmes, who came out of the anti-war leftist movement from the late '60s and the early '70s, who became the Workers World Party, I think, presidential candidate a number of years ago.
They have joined with other old leftists - and we can't get rid of these people. You've got Medea Benjamin, with her Code Pink.
FRIEDMAN: Medea Benjamin's an old Castroite. You have United for Peace and Justice, which is Leslie Cagan, and she is actually the oldest communist work horse from the original Spring Mobilization Committees in 1967, and her other co-partner is C. Clark Kissinger, an old Maoist SDS leader, who is now in the Revolutionary Communist Party. And also there's Not in Our Name and a few other groups.
The same people who were young then are now leading these groups and the ultimate goal is not the overthrow of the government of the United States. They've given up on that form of communist action. It is the undermining of the will of the United States to resist totalitarianism around the world whether it is Red Chinese as a threat, Russia as a threat, or Islamic fascism as a threat. The old the enemy of my enemy is my friend concept. SWETT: It seems, from the way they act, that - you know, many of us would assume that, okay, they're communists so they're cheering for the Soviet Union to defeat the United States and try to assist their proxy, the North Vietnamese. But here the governments - the organizations they're sponsoring now are not particularly communist. They're international terrorism, so as you say, it's the friend of my enemy. Anything that opposes the interest of the United States is where you're going to find all these guys, isn't it?
ZIEGLER: Right. It's the hate America first crowd.
FRIEDMAN: It's not only that. It's not just the psychotic hate, which the Workers World Party is great at because most of them are psychotic, and the Maoists too, in order to be as steeped in their ideology as they are.
If you had a bunch of psychiatrists sit down and look at these, they'd get up in five minutes and say, "These people are crazy; let's get out of here."
But they are a danger because they are dedicated. They work 24 hours a day. They have adequate funding, especially in foundations, some of which were Communist Party, some of which are affiliated with George Soros and the other groups. And they are able to attract all the fringes, and they multiply their power that way. Where you may have 500 or 1,000 members of Workers World Party and affiliates, they bring in the Revolutionary Communist Party people, C. Clark Kissinger, they bring in the Leslie Cagan people, which is a part of the Communist Party faction called Committee of Correspondents. And you bring in the leftist academics, which are breeding like mosquitoes out there, and you've got a heck of a lot of people. And then you have your church people, like Webber and -
SWETT: National Council of Churches and -
FRIEDMAN: Yeah. They're still doing the same old pro-communist anti-American garbage. They just don't say they're for the communists anymore. They don't say they're out there cheering for North Korea, but they don't want us to do anything about North Korea except to surrender or negotiate, whatever they want to. The same with Iran. The arguments are all the same.
They're also very anti-Semitic. They're very anti-Israel, and they have joined with the Islamists in that sphere of influence to attack the United States.
So it's a multi-hinged attack against the United States from all over the globe on terms of American foreign policy, and they have allies in England. The Socialist Party there is very strong. You have the same thing in Australia. You've got the old French Labor Party, the general confederation of trade unions there, which is Communist Party and some of the strong leftist contingent.
These can turn out a heck of a lot of people at protests. And when people say, well, public opinion is against the United States, and the media is showing all these demonstrations, you have to look behind the signs. Look at the sign, then look behind the signs to see who's running it.
In the United States, it's not Code Pink, it's Code Red.
ZIEGLER: And the typical radio host or typical media person is going to look at you and say, "Mr. Friedman, you're going to see a communist under every bush." You know, "This sounds like McCarthyism."
FRIEDMAN: Well, I don't think we're going to find any communists around George Bush.
No, you have to know your target. Just like in the military. You don't go out and just shoot up a tree line and waste ammunition. You have to have a target to shoot at.
Having been an investigative reporter in this as well as having been inside this group for over 35 years, when I see a familiar face pop up or a familiar name, I say, you know, my antennae are up. Oh, he's back.
It happened yesterday with someone on the Middle East named Abdullah Schleifer. His name came up at a conference that was very anti-Israel, and we helped expose him as a member of the Progressive Labor Party back in 1970. Now this guy's popping up again in the news 35 years later.
They're like vampires. You can drive a stake into their heart, but unless you keep driving it in and driving it in, they keep popping up in a new reincarnation.
The media has no memory as to who these people are, nor do most of them have the inclination to go in and do good investigative journalism. It's very, very shallow. It's sound bites; it's press releases; it's whatever somebody says, and they take them at their word and then they move on to the next story. You can't be a good journalist like that.
SWETT: One fairly obvious example of a vampire popping up under a slightly new incarnation is the rebirth of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War as the Veterans Against the Iraqi War, and of course, a lot of the old-time VVAW people created that organization.
We'll touch on that a little bit when we get back.
ZIEGLER: This is RighTalk Radio, RighTalk.com, The Inquisition, the fastest hour in radio. Scott Swett, Tim Ziegler, with Mr. Max Friedman. We'll be back in three minutes to finish the show up.
Happy Fourth of July, America. It's your Independence Day.
SWETT: Hello, and welcome back to RighTalk Radio. This is The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler. We're here visiting with Mr. Max Friedman, journalist, researcher, in-depth expert in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era and on through today.
We were talking about the topic of how events of 30 years ago compare to what's happening now, and one example that leaps to mind is Senator Durbin's recent and justly criticized comments about American prisons resembling the gulags and the Nazi camps. Is this just the same record that these guys played 35 years ago? Are they trying to do it again?
FRIEDMAN: Many of them are. Durbin, I think, is just a fool, but the hard-core left are using the tactics from the Vietnam protests today.
Unfortunately for us, many of them are now in academia, which gives them a venue of being published in books and in journals and in newspapers. They propagate the same lies against the United States that they were then, and their goal is to undermine our efforts to defend ourselves and to defend freedom and to defeat the enemy. It was the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong, and we were doing a pretty good job of it. They undercut that. Now they want to undercut our efforts in Iraq, hope we fail, blame it on the Republicans and then try to come back into power through the Democratic Party.
SWETT: In your dealings with the hard-core Left inside the anti-war movement, did you ever hear any of them express remorse after Saigon fell and the blood bath started in Southeast Asia over what they'd done?
FRIEDMAN: I heard absolutely none, and that was what was shocking because I felt that a few of them might have been legitimate, other than Joan Baez around '79 protesting conditions in the reeducation camps.
SWETT: In Cambodia, yeah.
FRIEDMAN: Well, not just Cambodia, but also in South Vietnam, and she was viciously attacked by Jane Fonda and the others on the Left.
ZIEGLER: It's been the fastest hour in radio again. You can find the articles by Mr. Friedman on the Vietnam Veterans Legacy site -
SWETT: No, no, no.
ZIEGLER: - as well as WinterSoldier.com. We look forward to Mr. Friedman coming back sometime.
FRIEDMAN: I'd love to come back. Thank you.
ZIEGLER: Thank you for being here. This is RighTalk.com, The Inquisition with Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler, and the web site you can find that on again is WinterSoldier.com.
This is RighTalk on the way out. Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler will be back in two weeks. Happy Fourth of July.
[End of transcript]
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Before the story disappears again - Patriot Max Friedman who infiltrated 60s/70s "peace" movements
From the website To Set the Record Straight: an Interview with Max Friedman
Posted by Spyridon at 8:32 PM