Clinton, Quigley, and Conspiracy: What’s going on here?
by Daniel BrandtFrom NameBase NewsLine, No. 1, April-June 1993http://www.namebase.org/news01.html
When Bill Clinton delivered his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention on July 16, 1992, it didn’t contain any surprises, nor were any expected. There were the usual feel-good platitudes: he wanted to talk with us “about my hope for the future, my faith in the American people, and my vision of the kind of country we can build…. This election is about putting power back in your hands and putting the government back on your side…. It is time to heal America.” Any speech writer could have pulled boiler-plate from the files and pasted together something similar. Speeches for occasions like this one aren’t meant to be long on specifics.
Toward the end of the speech Clinton mentioned that “as a teenager I heard John Kennedy’s summons to citizenship. And then, as a student at Georgetown, I heard that call clarified by a professor named Carroll Quigley, who said to us that America was the greatest country in the history of the world because our people have always believed in two things: that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal, moral responsibility to make it so.”
This was not the first time that Clinton had paid tribute to the memory of his Georgetown professor. A few days earlier, a story on Clinton’s background mentioned that he had never forgotten Quigley’s last lecture. “Throughout his career he has evoked [this lecture] in speeches as the rhetorical foundation for his political philosophy,” according to the Washington Post, which offered another Clinton quotation praising Quigley’s perspective and influence. A kindly old professor appreciated as a mentor by an impressionable, idealistic student? This is how it was interpreted by almost everyone who heard it, particularly since Quigley’s name was not exactly a household word.
But in certain rarified circles among conspiracy theorists, Clinton’s reference to Quigley was surprising. Now that Clinton had one foot in the White House, the conservative Washington Times soon ran an item that tried to clear matters up. Professor Quigley, according to the Times, specialized in the history of a secret group of elite Anglo-Americans who had a decisive influence on world affairs during the first half of this century. Quigley, in other words, was a conspiracy theorist — but one who had an impeccable pedigree as “one of the few insiders who came out and exposed the Eastern establishment plan for world government.” These words belong to Tom Eddlam, research director for the John Birch Society. As someone who had sold two of Quigley’s books, Eddlam knew plenty about Quigley. But we can’t have a Democratic draft-dodging liberal candidate who admires a Birch Society conspiracy hero, so the Times quickly resolved the issue by noting that Quigley wanted the conspiracy to succeed, whereas the Birchers wanted it to fail. Thus the Times summed matters up, in six column inches.
Clinton’s supporters depict him as an intellectual, someone whose heroes traffic in solemn ideals. If so, Clinton presumably read Tragedy and Hope, Quigley’s best-known book, which appeared while Clinton was at Georgetown. At any rate, Quigley’s work is well worth looking at, along with Clinton’s early career, for its possible clues to Clinton’s thought.
Reading Quigley may turn you into a student of high-level conspiracy, which is exactly what many influential people around Clinton and elsewhere say you shouldn’t be. Almost all of the 3,000 members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) will go on record ridiculing any of the conspiracy theories that, according to all polls, are taken seriously by large majorities of average people. CFR member Daniel Schorr will tell you again and again that Oswald was a lone nut, and CFR member Steven Emerson will write article after article debunking Pan Am 103 and October Surprise theories. It’s not that people in high places know better, it’s simply that they have more to protect and cannot afford to be candid.
As new research is published about the JFK assassination, for example, it becomes clear that virtually all the high-level players, from LBJ on down, assumed it was a conspiracy from the moment the shots were fired. It took until recently for dedicated researchers to dig this fact out. But thirty years later many journalists still find it useful to defend the Warren Commission or belittle its critics.
Carroll Quigley was a conspiracy historian, but he was unusual in that he avoided criticism. Most of his conspiracy research concerned the role of the Rhodes-Milner Round Table Groups in Britain from 1891 through World War II. His major work, Tragedy and Hope (1966), contains scattered references to his twenty years of research in this area, but his detailed history of the Round Table was written in 1949. The major reason he avoided criticism is because his work wasn’t threatening to people in high places. Quigley’s research was too obscure, and too much had happened in the world since the events he described. Quigley was also an insider, so his criticisms of the groups he studied are subdued. He did his undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, where he received a doctorate in 1938. He later taught at Princeton and Harvard before settling in at Georgetown’s conservative School of Foreign Service in 1941, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was a consultant for the Brookings Institution, the Defense Department, the State Department, and the Navy, and taught western civilization and history. In 1962 the Center for Strategic and International Studies was established on the Georgetown campus, where it maintained close ties with the School of Foreign Service. CSIS included a number of people on its staff who had high-level CIA connections. Quigley moved in these circles until his death in 1977:
I know of the operations of this network [the Round Table Groups] because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies, but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
In his 1949 detailed look at the Cecil Rhodes – Oxford – Alfred (Lord) Milner – Round Table nexus, published posthumously in 1981 as The Anglo-American Establishment, Quigley was more forceful with his criticism. While endorsing this elite’s high-minded internationalist goals, Quigley wrote that “I cannot agree with them on methods,” and added that he found the antidemocratic implications of their inherited wealth and power “terrifying.” This is as tough as he got with his comments:
No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner Group accomplished in Britain — that is, that a small number of men should be able to wield such power in administration and politics, should be given almost complete control over the publication of the documents relating to their actions, should be able to exercise such influence over the avenues of information that create public opinion, and should be able to monopolize so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.
Quigley also avoided criticism because his books are the product of years of painstaking research into primary diplomatic sources. To qualify as a critic of his analysis, someone would have to duplicate that research — and so far no one has. It also helped that Quigley was doing most of his work at a time when conspiracy theories were considered curious and quaint, but not threatening. Clinton, at any rate, had no reason to feel uneasy about citing the virtually unknown Quigley in his convention acceptance speech.
But serious researchers can hardly afford to pass over Quigley’s potential significance so lightly. The Washington Times, to begin with, is clearly mistaken to brush Quigley off as simply one more liberal elitist one-worlder. Certainly he is no streetcorner agitator, whether of the right or left. But his understated critique of his elite colleagues is nevertheless a searching one.
In the years following the publication of Tragedy and Hope in 1966, writers on both the right and left began to recognize this. For example, New Left writer and activist Carl Oglesby came to realize that some of his ideas about elite power in the U.S. had been anticipated by Quigley. On the far right, meanwhile, Quigley found a convert in W. Cleon Skousen, a former FBI agent who later became a star of the John Birch Society’s lecture circuit. In 1970, Skousen published a book-length review of Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope that was titled The Naked Capitalist. It quoted so heavily from Quigley’s work that Quigley threatened to sue for copyright infringement.
Skousen chose to emphasize Quigley’s mention of subterranean financial arrangements between certain Wall Street interests and certain groups on the U.S. left, in particular the Communist Party. Oglesby, meanwhile, shared Quigley’s interest in the challenge posed to Wall Street’s Eastern elite by newer oil and defense-aerospace money concentrated in the Southwest. But as Oglesby recognized, Quigley’s meticulous research into elite power shaded insensibly over into the study of “conspiracy”:
Am I borrowing on Quigley then to say with the far right that this one conspiracy rules the world? The arguments for a conspiracy theory are indeed often dismissed on the grounds that no one conspiracy could possibly control everything. But that is not what this theory sets out to show. Quigley is not saying that modern history is the invention of an esoteric cabal designing events omnipotently to suit its ends. The implicit claim, on the contrary, is that a multitude of conspiracies contend in the night. Clandestinism is not the usage of a handful of rogues, it is a formalized practice of an entire class in which a thousand hands spontaneously join. Conspiracy is the normal continuation of normal politics by normal means.
But it’s a bad word for polite editors, so the issues surrounding the “C” word are almost never discussed in print. One needs to tease out Oglesby’s observation that there is a qualitative difference between the way that the left and right in the U.S. have addressed this issue. Both tendencies can at least get together on which groups deserve attention: the Council on Foreign Relations, which became the American branch of the Round Table in 1919; Bilderberg, which has held secret meetings in Europe for select participants since 1954; and the Trilateral Commission, a group that began in 1973 and now has 325 members from Japan, Europe, and America. CFR consists of Americans only, whereas Bilderberg adds the Europeans and TC also adds the Japanese. The Americans in Bilderberg and TC are almost always members of CFR also.
But some leftists and left-liberal sociologists prefer to take the curse off their interest in such groups by calling their investigations “power-structure research.” The implication seems to be that tracing interlocking directorates, let’s say, belongs to science in a way that tracing Lee Harvey Oswald’s intelligence connections never could. Still, G. William Domhoff, the most prominent of the “power structure” researchers, admits that attempting to maintain this quarantine can itself become unscientific:
Critics of a power elite theory often call it “conspiratorial,” which is the academic equivalent of ending a discussion by yelling Communist. It is difficult to lay this charge to rest once and for all because these critics really mean something much broader than the dictionary definition of conspiracy. All right, then, if “conspiracy” means that these men are aware of their interests, know each other personally, meet together privately and off the record, and try to hammer out a consensus on how to anticipate or react to events and issues, then there is some conspiring that goes on in CFR, not to mention in the Committee for Economic Development, the Business Council, the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
And what makes Domhoff’s middle ground on the problem of conspiracy so difficult to maintain is precisely the existence of inconveniently concrete cases like Oswald’s. If there was a conspiracy and cover-up, then it was carried out by interested individuals rather than by blind social forces. The best that Domhoff can do with the JFK assassination is to ignore it, which he does.
But this won’t do for Michael Albert, editor of the leftist Z Magazine and a Domhoffian “structuralist,” who has attempted to finesse this problem. His argument on the JFK assassination, as best I can understand it, goes something like this: JFK was a predictable product of established institutions; these institutions wanted a war in Vietnam; it’s inconceivable that JFK would have disagreed with this because his behavior was determined (that is, he could not have changed his mind), and therefore, the assassination of JFK, conspiracy or not, made no difference to our history and is unimportant. The problem with Albert’s approach is that he’s fairly close to vulgar Marxism, which by now has been thoroughly discredited.
To my thinking, the reason why the JFK assassination is so important is this: It’s one thing to believe that there are rich people who become richer because their environment tells them to behave that way, and quite another to believe that there is a powerful, secret government that doesn’t have to play by the rules. If you can prove that the assassination was a conspiracy, then the first notion becomes silly and insignificant. Essentially, conspiracy theories restore notions of freedom and responsibility that have been stripped from the “value free” social science establishment. Quigley is between Domhoff and Oglesby on our spectrum, which is not a left-right spectrum but rather a conspiracy spectrum. Oglesby deals seriously with the JFK assassination while Quigley does not. But Quigley at least follows the money trail and believes that human agency and individual actors are important forces in history. Domhoff, on the other hand, is more interested in class distinctions and general behavior.
Skousen is much more conspiratorial than Oglesby. He applies conspiracy thinking to complex issues where a middle ground would be productive (such as CFR, Bilderberg, and Trilateralism), and treats them in an either/or fashion as if they were similar to the JFK assassination. It doesn’t work very well. The New World Order may be a bad idea, but to assume as a starting point that it’s a Communist plot doesn’t help us understand the who or why behind it.
Before returning to Clinton, it will help to fill out our spectrum a bit. So far we have Domhoff, Quigley, and Oglesby in a line, and Skousen off further on the pro-conspiracy end. On the anti-conspiracy end we should add Erwin Knoll, longtime editor of The Progressive. According to Knoll, “none of the conspiracy theories we have scrutinized meets the test of accuracy — or even plausibility — we normally apply to material published in The Progressive, so none has appeared in the pages of this magazine. Knoll’s advisory board includes three members of the Council on Foreign Relations, so this fits okay. There’s also Chip Berlet, who berates unwitting leftists for falling prey to conspiracy theories that the devious right has conspired to foist on them. He isn’t critical of conspiracy thinking on the basis of the evidence, but waits until the theorist can be shown to have incorrect political associations. Berlet doesn’t fit anywhere on our spectrum; he’s running his own show.
A conspiracy bookseller named Lloyd Miller is farther out than Skousen. Miller is aware of Quigley and sells his books. While Oglesby is toying with an American ruling-class Yankee-Cowboy split that goes back a generation or so, Miller dwells on a split between the Knights of Malta and the Knights Templar going back to the year 1307. The modern derivative of this struggle provides his hypothesis that “the overt and covert organs of the Vatican and British Empire are locked in mortal combat for control of the world.” In Miller’s theory, Jesuit-controlled Georgetown is the Vatican headquarters on the American front, and Quigley is a Vatican agent exposing the Anglo-American connection. Miller is more sophisticated than this description allows, but I have difficulties with him. On a case by case basis, the theory produces as many questions as answers. More importantly, perhaps, my historical interests and imagination don’t extend much beyond the last 100 years.
Miller is mentioned because there are similarities between his analysis and the theories of Lyndon LaRouche. For anyone who wants to figure out what LaRouche is talking about, it is necessary to be conversant with esoterica concerning Freemasonry, the Knights of Malta, and British imperialism. The alternative is to see all of the above as code words for Jews, and LaRouche’s enemies — namely Chip Berlet, Dennis King, and the Anti-Defamation League — tend to take this easy way out. I don’t believe that right-wing globalist conspiracy theories in general, or LaRouche’s theories in particular, can be dismissed by claiming that they are disguised anti-Semitism — that is to say, code-word versions of the old international Jewish banking conspiracies. While there is some anti-Semitism on the right, it is no longer the driving force it might have once been. Most right-wing theories are more sophisticated than Berlet, King, or the ADL are ready to believe.
I don’t consider any of the people I’ve mentioned as crackpots, because I’m convinced that there are vital issues at stake. All of them are doing their best with checkered evidence, and for the most part I share their instincts if not always their conclusions. Regardless of where we decide to place Bill Clinton on the spectrum, which will be discussed after a review of his career, at least two other former (and future?) presidential candidates have staked out positions. Ross Perot believes that there is massive corruption and occasional conspiracies in high places; he belongs somewhere close to Quigley. Pat Robertson is a less hysterical version of Skousen, modified for post anti-Communism, and should also be taken seriously. Along with Ross Perot’s movement, some see Robertson’s Christian Coalition as a populist challenge to our one-party Republocrat system.
Most of Pat Robertson’s latest book, The New World Order (1991), is a popularized yet articulate presentation of recent American history as controlled by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, the Federal Reserve System, and Wall Street. Several pages are spent on Quigley’s theories, which provide the background for an understanding of the Rhodes Trust, CFR, and the foundations with their “One World agenda.” Unfortunately, the only mention of this book in the left press ignores the analytical material that Robertson draws on, and dismisses “its more bizarre conspiracy theories such as those targeting mainstream figures as dupes of the Devil.”
Yes, Robertson finally couches his theories in a Biblical context (after keeping the Bible out of it for the first two-thirds of the book), and most of us don’t find the Bible necessary or compelling. But when leftists skip to the end in order to belittle his critique, at a time when they have lost the capacity to provide an alternative critique, this is self-defeating. My main objection to Robertson is that he doesn’t deserve to have a monopoly on these important issues; his vision is too apocalyptic and too narrow. Unlike the politically-correct “progressive” press, however, I consider him potentially closer to populism than to fascism.
Robertson spends several pages recounting the 1976 campaign of Jimmy Carter, and describes how he concluded that Carter’s strings were being pulled by the same Trilateralists who created him. A similar analysis — much more detailed and convincing — can also be found from a leftist perspective. It wasn’t too many years ago, before politically-correct thinking carried the day, that the left took Trilateralism seriously. Since 1980, the only left perspective on Trilateralism has been written by a Canadian professor. His Gramscian categories tend to be academically overbearing, but he took the trouble to interview 100 Trilateral Commission members.
The Jimmy Carter story is depressing. Hamilton Jordan reportedly said, “If, after the inauguration you find Cy Vance as secretary of state and Zbigniew Brzezinski as head of national security, then I would say that we failed.” That’s exactly what happened, and seventeen other key members of the administration were also Trilateralists. For his entire administration, every move on foreign policy was cleared with the hard-liner Brzezinski.
Robertson’s book was written just one year before Clinton’s name became a household word. One wonders how Robertson reacted to Clinton’s reference to Quigley in his acceptance speech. And then what Robertson thought when he learned that Clinton checked off on almost every group you care to name: he is a Rhodes Scholar, a CFR member, a Trilateral Commission member, a Bilderberg participant, and most of his appointees are at least one of the above. If Clinton’s mention of Quigley in July 1992 had been an isolated case, then one might interpret this as simply a ploy to disguise his elitist loyalties. But Clinton has mentioned Quigley many times over the years, and I suspect that on this he is sincere. Then again, it’s hard to believe that Clinton is unaware of Quigley’s anti-elitist tendencies. What’s going on here?
After shaking John Kennedy’s hand, they say that William Jefferson Clinton never doubted that he was headed for the White House. A band major in high school, he was favored by his school principal, who encouraged him to run for class offices and to participate in a leadership program that sponsored his trip to Washington. He attended Georgetown from 1964-1968, majoring in international affairs and immediately running for student office (“Hello, I’m Bill Clinton. Will you help me run for president of the freshman class?”). When he wasn’t listening to Quigley or networking and glad-handing his way through a student council election, he was working in the Senate Foreign Relations Office of Senator J. William Fulbright, an Arkansas Democrat and former Rhodes Scholar who started criticizing the CIA and Vietnam policy in 1966. During his first two years, Clinton was a trainee in Georgetown’s ROTC unit, and could be seen around campus in Army fatigues.
Between Quigley and his Georgetown connections, Fulbright and his Rhodes Trust connections, and Clinton’s keen interest in his own political power, it’s not surprising that the big, bearded, amiable Clinton became a Rhodes Scholar in 1968 and went off to spend two years at Oxford. Another power behind Clinton was Winthrop Rockefeller (1912-1973), two-time Republican governor of Arkansas, who reportedly functioned as a father figure. At Oxford, Clinton participated in one or more demonstrations against U.S. policy in Vietnam in front of the American embassy, and used his connections to stay out of the draft. After Oxford he went to Yale Law School. In the fall of 1972 he directed McGovern’s campaign in Texas. He ran for Congress in Arkansas in 1974 after finishing Yale, but barely lost. Then he taught law in Arkansas until 1976, when he was elected state attorney general after running unopposed. That year he also headed up the state campaign for Jimmy Carter. Two years later he won the race for governor.
The anti-war sentiments among Clinton’s Oxford colleagues did not produce an antipathy toward the CIA. Robert Earl, later an assistant to Oliver North at the National Security Council, was one of these colleagues. And while governor, Clinton was aware that an airfield in Mena, Arkansas played a major role in secret contra logistics involving gun and drug running. Clinton’s security chief is being sued for an alleged Mena-related frame-up, and many believe that there were cover-ups by both state and federal agencies.
Bill Clinton is promoted as the first baby boomer and anti-war activist in the White House. Yet I was also these things, and I cannot identify with Clinton at all. In order for this piece to make any sense, it’s important that I show how two different anti-war protesters might have stood together in a demonstration for different reasons, after arriving from different directions.
To begin with, one has to divide the student movement into two periods, before and after 1968. This year was pivotal: the McCarthy campaign, the RFK and MLK assassinations, the police riot in Chicago. Anti-war protesters on conservative campuses such as my University of Southern California and Clinton’s Georgetown, were almost always bona fide prior to 1968. There was no percentage in it otherwise, as the polls were overwhelmingly in favor of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. At USC I organized a peaceful draft card turn-in ceremony in 1968. We were physically ejected from the campus by fraternity boys, and had to continue in a church across the street, where the frat rats feared to tread. A poll by our student newspaper showed that most students agreed with the fraternity. At USC, and the same was probably true of Georgetown, a student politician couldn’t get more than a handful of votes by taking an anti-war position.
In 1969 everything suddenly changed. Major anti-war organizing efforts appeared on campus, coordinated through national networks. I guessed that these new activists, who seemed to come out of nowhere to organize the Vietnam Moratorium, were former McCarthy-Kennedy campaign workers. Although I had been co-chairman of our SDS chapter the previous year, these were all new faces to me. I was astounded and a little suspicious. Everything had turned around completely: now no student politician could hope to win without the long hair, the beads and sandals, and speaking at freshmen orientation by abandoning the lectern and sitting on the edge of the stage, “rapping” to them movement-style.
When it came time to confront the draft, these same student politicians used their mysterious connections to get out the easy way. Sometimes they pulled strings to secure a place in the overbooked National Guard, but most got out clean. Almost half of all undergraduate men were released when the first lottery was held at the end of the year, which of course brought our anti-draft movement to a halt. I now refer to my 1969 experience as the “Sam Hurst syndrome,” after the articulate and good-looking student body president who sat on the edge of the stage and rode into power on the post-1968 wave. It’s my euphemism for slick, well-disguised self-interest and a great head of hair.
I noticed that new students could not tell the difference between Sam Hurst’s activism and mine. Students with safe lottery numbers sadistically inquired about my number — they would find it amusing if my number was also safe, now that I had been convicted for refusing induction. It was every man for himself. Then it got worse. By September 1970 the big movement on campus centered on Timothy Leary’s old colleague Richard Alpert, who now called himself Baba Ram Dass and told overflow crowds that the best way to do revolution was to sit in the lotus position and do nothing. Soon Rennie Davis of Chicago Eight fame was spending his time puppy-dogging a teenaged guru from India. Within another year there was no discernible movement at all, just embarrassing burnouts like the Weather Underground and eventually the Symbionese Liberation Army, which kidnapped and brainwashed Patty Hearst.
Bill Clinton is even slicker than Sam Hurst. His anti-war activism, as well as everything else he did, developed from a focused interest in his own future. After 1968 it would have been unthinkable for Clinton to ignore the anti-war movement and face political obsolescence — not because of his revulsion over carpet bombing, but because it was time to hedge his bets. Clinton is not an intellectual, he’s merely very clever. A clever person can manipulate his environment, while an intellectual can project beyond it and, for example, identify with the suffering of the Vietnamese people. But this involves some risk, whereas power politics is the art of pursuing the possible and minimizing this risk. Almost everything that happened to the student movement is best explained without conspiracy theories. There are, however, some bits of curious evidence that should be briefly mentioned. Each of these alone doesn’t amount to much, but taken together they suggest that something more was happening — the possibility that by 1969 a significant sector of the ruling class had decided to buy into the counterculture for purposes of manipulation and control:
- Student leaders James Kunen and Carl Oglesby both report that in the summer of 1968, the organization Business International, which had links to the CIA, sent high-level representatives to meet with SDS. These people wanted to help organize demonstrations for the upcoming conventions in Chicago and Miami. SDS refused the offer, but the experience convinced Oglesby that the ruling class was at war with itself, and he began developing his Yankee-Cowboy theory.
- Tom Hayden, who by 1986 was defending his state assembly seat against those trying to oust him because of his anti-war record, was quoted as saying that while he was protesting against the Vietnam War, he was also cooperating with U.S. intelligence agents.
- The CIA was of course involved with LSD testing, but there is also evidence that it was later involved in the distribution of LSD within the counterculture.
- Feminist leader Gloria Steinem and congressman Allard Lowenstein both had major CIA connections. Lowenstein was president of the National Student Association, which was funded by the CIA until exposed by Ramparts magazine in 1967. He and another NSA officer, Sam Brown, were key organizers behind the 1969 Vietnam Moratorium. (In 1977 Brown became the director of ACTION under Jimmy Carter; his activism, which was more intense and more sincere than Clinton’s, didn’t hurt his career either.)
- Symbionese Liberation Army leader Donald DeFreeze appears to have been conditioned in a behavior modification program sponsored by elements of U.S. intelligence.
- The CIA has a long history of infiltrating international organizations, from labor to students to religion. I submit that if an anti-war activist was involved in this type of international jet-setting, the burden is on them to show that they were not compromised. Clinton comes close to assuming this burden.
The major point here is that by 1969, protest was not necessarily anti-Establishment. When thousands of students are in the streets every day, and the troops you sent to Vietnam are deserting, sooner or later it’s going to cut into your profits. If you can’t beat them, then you have to co-opt them. Clinton’s mentors and sponsors realized this, Clinton himself sensed the shift, and until more evidence is available it’s fair to assume that his anti-war activity was at a minimum self-serving, and perhaps even duplicitous.
How else can we explain why he has recently embraced the very organizations who got us into Vietnam in the first place? He joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 1989, attended a Bilderberg meeting in 1991, is currently a member of the Trilateral Commission, and has appointed numerous Rhodes Scholars, CFR members, and Trilateralists to key positions. These are the very groups whose historical roots, according to Quigley, are essentially conspiratorial and antidemocratic. A cynic would say that Clinton appropriated from Quigley what he needed — which was a precise description of where the power is — and ignored those aspects of Quigley that did not fit his agenda. He may have read a book or two by Quigley, but he didn’t inhale them.
On February 2, when Clinton’s nominee for CIA director was asked some polite questions, Senator John Chafee (R-RI) joked about what he called “a Mafia that’s taking over the administration.” Be sure to smile when you say that, Senator. The new director, R. James Woolsey, was an early supporter of the contras and served as defense attorney for Michael Ledeen and Charles E. Allen, he has Georgetown-CSIS connections, and he’s a Rhodes Scholar, CFR member, and Yale Law School graduate, several years ahead of Clinton. Yale, of course, is thick with CIA connections. The new CIA director was close to Brent Scowcroft at the Bush White House, and is a director of Martin Marietta, the eighth-largest defense corporation, whose contracts include the MX missle and Star Wars weapons.
It’s becoming clear that on inauguration day we merely had a changing of the guard. But it’s still the same old team at headquarters, wherever that is, and you won’t find any television cameras there. Ultimately, then, Clinton’s references to Quigley are worth as much as his anti-war record. And both are worth nothing at all.
1. David Maraniss, “Bill Clinton: Born to Run…and Run…and Run. Washington Post, July 13, 1992, p. A1.
2. “Clinton a Bircher?”, Washington Times, July 22, 1992, p. A6. For a more useful discussion of the right and Quigley, see Frank P. Mintz, The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy and Culture (Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 1985), pp. 145-51.
3. This conclusion in inescapable after reading Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992).
4. Who’s Who in America, 1976-1977 (Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, 1976).
5. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966), p. 950.
6. Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment (New York: Books in Focus, 1981), pp. xi, 197.
7. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977), pp. 6-7.
8. Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, pp. 945-9.
9. Ibid., pp. 1245-6.
10. Oglesby, p. 25.
11. G. William Domhoff, “Who Made American Foreign Policy, 1945-1963?” In David Horowitz, ed., Corporations and the Cold War (New York: Monthly Review, 1969), p.34.
12. Erwin Knoll, “Memo from the Editor,” The Progressive, March 1992, p. 4.
13. Chip Berlet, Right Woos Left (Political Research Associates, 678 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 205, Cambridge MA 02139), July 28, 1992, $6.50.
14. A-albionic Research, P.O. Box 20273, Ferndale MI 48220.
15. Kate Cornell, “The Covert Tactics and Overt Agenda of the New Christian Right,” Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93, p. 51.
16. Laurence H. Shoup, “Jimmy Carter and the Trilateralists: Presidential Roots”; Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, “Shaping a New World Order: The Council on Foreign Relations’ Blueprint for World Hegemony, 1939-1945”; and several other relevant articles. In Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management (Boston: South End Press, 1980).
17. Stephen Gill, American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
18. Association of National Security Alumni, Unclassified, February-March 1992, pp. 6-9.
19. James Simon Kunen, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary (New York: Avon Books, 1970), pp. 130-1.
20. Steve Weissman, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Palo Alto CA: Ramparts Press, 1974), pp. 298-9.
21. AP in San Francisco Examiner, June 21, 1986.
22. Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion (New York: Grove Press, 1985).
23. Kai Bird, The Chairman: John J. McCloy, The Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-4, 727.
24. Richard Cummings, The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream (New York: Grove Press, 1985).
25. Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (New York: William Morrow, 1990), p. 337.
26. Douglas Jehl, “CIA Nominee Wary of Budget Cuts,” New York Times, February 3, 1993, p. A18.
27. Robin W. Winks, Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961 (New York: William Morrow, 1987).