According to Admiral Inman, the CIA suffered in the early 1980s from an intelligence "vacuum" in some parts of the world because of the Carter administration's cutbacks. This made it tempting to deal with private groups like LaRouche's. They were not the only such group around; the Unification Church was also in the private spy business, as were various rightist outfits supplying the Nicaraguan Contras. But LaRouche's snoops employed unusual techniques with especially intriguing results. "They are like ferrets," said the NSC's Norman Bailey, adding that they sometimes induced high-level foreign officials to "open up." Richard Morris also noted this. He cited LaRouchian reports to the NSC on meetings with government officials in Latin America and the People's Republic of China. For national security reasons, neither Bailey nor Morris would be more specific.
The "ferrets" were EIR correspondents who roamed the world interviewing hundreds of important persons each year. A subject would see a copy of EIR with an attractive cover and a masthead listing as many news bureaus as Time or Newsweek, and would assume it was an important American magazine. Many who rarely, if ever, had been interviewed by the U.S. media were glad for the opportunity to send a message to the American public. Some of those interviewed were susceptible to LaRouchian political views and would be particularly forthcoming with respect to such pet topics as debt repudiation. Others proved open to some kind of information-trading or consulting arrangement. They would be drawn into the NCLC's international briefing network as intelligence sources and/or "organic-humanist" allies. In a 1986 interview, LaRouche boasted of having such ties with government officials or members of the "Establishment" in about fifty countries.
During 1982 (when the CIA, according to Admiral Inman, was receiving a continuous "flow of materials" from the LaRouchians), EIR published interviews with former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, Argentine Foreign Minister Nicanor Costa Méndez, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach, Spanish Defense Minister Alberto Oliart, Japanese industrialist and Mitsubishi Research Institute chairman Masaki Nakajima, and former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar (in exile in Paris). Other interviewees included the foreign ministers of Panama, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Malaysia, the Brazilian Planning Minister, the president of Brazil's Senate, the head of Petrobas (Brazil's state oil company), the Bangladesh Finance Minister, the chief of Argentina's National Atomic Energy Commission, and the permanent secretary of the Latin American Economic System (SELA). EIR correspondents also met with hundreds of lower-level officials, trade union leaders, and businessmen executives that the local U.S. embassy or CIA might never have had contact with or who would be reluctant to open up with official U.S. representatives. A unique file of dossiers and profiles was thus compiled by the NCLC for its own use and that of its clients, including above all the intelligence agencies.
The LaRouchians strove for direct ties with the government of a targeted country, either on its home ground or through its Washington embassy or New York UN mission. If an embassy official liked their product, they would offer to provide various public relations and dirty tricks/smear services. They never bothered to register with the U.S. Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor did the Justice Department pressure them to do so. Defectors say the organization prepared research materials for at least a dozen governments, as well as Japanese multinational corporations. Besides the nuclear-bomb aspirants already named, the clients reportedly included French and Italian intelligence agencies, Iran (under the Shah) and Saudi Arabia. The name of the game was opportunism. While working for Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega, they peddled anti-drug trafficking reports in Colombia and Peru. While endorsing right-wing military terror in Guatemala, they provided information to Washington, D.C.’s left-wing Christic Institute for its lawsuit against LaRouche's longtime detractor General Singlaub, whom Christic attorneys accused of involvement in Contra terrorism.
Sometimes reports for foreign governments were prepared for cash, other times as a calculated political move to gain new contacts or a specific political favor. EIR operatives were able to arrange personal meetings for LaRouche with several chiefs of state as well as cabinet ministers, generals, and admirals. Over the years his catches included Mexican President Lopez Portillo, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (twice), Argentine President Raul Alfonsin, and Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal. Although some NCLC defectors have suggested these meetings were merely a sop to LaRouche's vanity, he profited from them concretely. A report with photographs of the meeting would be published in EIR and other LaRouche publications in the United States to show wealthy but naive senior citizens (the chief targets of LaRouchian fund raising) that LaRouche was truly a statesman of world stature.
If the LaRouchians were able to attract the attention of CIA bureaucrats, it was all the easier to gain the interest of the low-budget intelligence services of some developing nations. Information pyramiding was fairly easy. A LaRouchian might pick up an interesting rumor from a telephone conversation with a low-level diplomat at embassy A. He could then call up his contact at embassy B and tell him what he had learned. In return, he might receive another piece of gossip or conjecture. He could then move on to embassies C and D, multiplying his pennies like the lad in the pluck-and-luck story. One key was that much of the valuable intelligence floating around the world is neither classified nor secret, but merely obscure. Whoever bothers to dig it out gains leverage if he can determine (as the LaRouchians apparently are able to do) which corporations or governments would be most interested in a given piece of information.
LaRouche's conspiracy theories to a certain extent give him an advantage in peddling and collecting intelligence overseas. Such theories are an important part of the political culture in many countries. His followers are thus able to instinctively tap into moods and undercurrents that might be missed by an American Foreign Service officer who deals with people on a more rational and pragmatic level. Certainly an official in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, where the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion have long been popular, is not likely to raise an eyebrow over LaRouche's arcane charges about British-Jewish bankers. Nor are Latin American daily newspapers, which often purvey tales of CIA machinations and flying saucers, likely to be altogether skeptical of wild tales about Henry Kissinger. And the public in, say, Colombia--where political and drug-related assassinations are frequent occurrences--could well believe that narcotics traffickers or terrorists were out to kill LaRouche.
The factor of sheer ignorance about the United States was manifest in a 1975 Iraqi request to the LaRouchians for a background report on the National Renaissance Party, James Madole's tiny New York storm trooper outfit. The Iraqis were considering funding the NRP as a propaganda asset. The LaRouchians reported back that the NRP was an isolated group unlikely to be useful. But the fact that a Middle East country could even consider working with the NRP revealed a profound naiveté about American politics.
The primary LaRouchian tactic in dealing with foreign governments was to tell them just what they wanted to hear. This was at the heart of LaRouche's agitation with regard to the Third World debt crisis. Nations such as Brazil owed the New York banks billions of dollars, and LaRouche's advice was simple (foreshadowing his own tactics with creditors in the mid-1980s): Don't pay, put them off with promises, threaten them with the debt bomb; after all, they're just a bunch of shylocks. LaRouche became known as an Important Economist, and government officials quoted Operation Juarez. As friends of "Ibero-America" his EIR intelligence profilers enjoyed an open door to high officials. Peru's President Alan Garcia, already a populist on the debt question, even addressed a Schiller Institute delegation in Lima.
The LaRouchians also used flattery. Sometimes they praised the strongman of a government being courted (e.g., Noriega or Zaire's Mobutu). Usually they praised great achievements and men of a country's past. For instance, knowing that Arab governments are especially sensitive about racist Western stereotypes of their culture (camels, harems, and terrorists), the LaRouchians produced eloquent studies on the glories of medieval Islam, ascribing world-historical importance to the philosopher Avicenna. They launched an Avicenna Institute, staged an Avicenna conference, and published an Avicenna issue of their theoretical magazine, The Campaigner.
Another variation was to appear to take sides in historic rivalries between selected nations or nationalities, as in supporting the Argentinians over the Brits in 1982, or the Hindus over the Sikhs. After Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, the EIR staff wrote Derivative Assassination: Who Killed Indira Gandhi? The book's footnotes listed numerous interviews with Sikh leaders in various countries, which suggested that it was a spin-off from an intelligence report for the Indian government. In its published form it appeared in part to be propaganda to keep the Sikhs from gaining public sympathy in Canada, where they are an important immigrant group. It also appeared to be aimed at readers in India, especially Hindu nationalists who would read about the book's allegations in the daily press. Derivative Assassination described the Sikhs as tools of the Israelis and various rich Jews. It also said the assassination was organized by Israel's Mossad as part of a vast plot to sabotage Indian nuclear power plants. Given that Hindu rightists had run amok after Mrs. Gandhi's death, slaughtering hundreds of Sikhs--and that the country remained politically on a hair trigger--the book was a virtual invitation to further violence against Sikhs, not to mention a pogrom against India's tiny Jewish population.
A less sinister example was EIR's cozying up to the Turks against the Greeks in 1987--an amusing choice, considering that EIR's editor-in-chief was Criton Zoakos and the LaRouche organization had long idolized the Renaissance Greek philosopher Plethon, apostle of total war against the Turks. But LaRouche has never let Neoplatonism stand in the way of opportunity. He traveled to Ankara to meet with Prime Minister Ozal, and afterward staged a press conference in which he accused Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou of being an alcoholic, a Trotskyite, and a KGB agent. He also criticized the Reagan administration as "derelict" in that it wouldn't "supply this kind or that of military aid" (apparently meaning high-tech weapons for Turkey) as well as more economic aid. After conferring with the U.S. embassy, the Turkish government admitted that LaRouche had bamboozled it. But he came out ahead, for his picture was taken with a NATO head of state and published by EIR to impress his contributors back home. He could use it along with the 1980 picture of himself chatting with Ronald Reagan in New Hampshire.
The LaRouchians have a special affinity for regimes that are tottering. It is as if the more desperate they are, the less closely they will look at LaRouche's credentials. In 1978, in the final months of the Shah's regime in Iran, they peddled information to SAVAK, his secret police. They also prepared a confidential memorandum for the Shah on how to save his Peacock Throne. Afterward, they maintained contact with the royal family and various Iranian politicians in exile. EIR staffer Robert Dreyfuss's Hostage to Khomeini (1980) blamed the Shah's fall on the British oligarchy and its alleged treasonous collaborators in Washington. The book appealed to the irrationalism frequently found among fallen elites, as for instance the anti-Semitic theories popular among czarist exiles in Paris and Berlin after the Bolshevik revolution. The Shah's widow, Empress Farah Diba Pahlevi, told the West German magazine Bunte: "To understand what has gone on in Iran, one must read what Robert Dreyfuss wrote in the Executive Intelligence Review." EIR used this quote for years afterward in its advertising.
When Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos's regime was disintegrating in the fall of 1985, FEF spokesman Uwe Parpart and LaRouche's security chief, Paul Goldstein, rushed over to Manila to advise him. They took along Peru's former Prime Minister General Edgardo Mercado Jarrin as the nominal head of their Schiller Institute delegation, and the meeting with Marcos was widely reported in the Philippine press. According to LaRouche in a 1986 radio interview, his aides warned Marcos: "They're going to coup you." LaRouche claimed that if Marcos "had taken the kinds of actions we'd recommended . . . he would not have been couped." Shortly after the trip, Goldstein revealed the alleged evil force behind Marcos's problems: Mossad and a cabal of Jewish businessmen.
When Polish Communist leader Edward Gierek was threatened by the Solidarity trade union in 1980, LaRouche prepared a document advising him on how to crush the "Trotskyite insurrection" of "British intelligence's . . . Judas goats" (i.e., dumb Catholics led by smart Jews). He told Gierek to crush the strikers the way American cops crushed the ghetto riots of the 1960s. "Use force to contain and separate groups of rioters from one another and from uninvolved areas of the population," he urged. "Isolate and neutralize the agents provocateurs as inconspicuously and quickly as possible, and let the dupes tire themselves back into a normal state of mind."
General Wojciech Jaruzelski's Soviet-backed martial law regime did just that in December 1981 when it rounded up and imprisoned tens of thousands of Poles. The regime became an international pariah, but not to the LaRouchians. They were the only enthusiastic Jaruzelski supporters in the West, save for a few small Moscow-financed CPs. EIR and New Solidarity published dozens of pro-Jaruzelski pieces, including the editorial "Don't Meddle in Poland," which claimed that Solidarity was linked to Western intelligence agencies. The AFL-CIO, which had attempted to help Solidarity, was described as conducting "covert operations targeted against the Polish nation-state." Jaruzelski's "broad purge" was said to be a necessary move to get rid of "hardcore British intelligence protégés."
Some NCLC propaganda appears simply to be aimed at cleaning up the public image of regimes that have received negative U.S. press coverage. Jeffrey Steinberg, LaRouche security aide and EIR "counter-intelligence" editor, traveled to Guatemala in 1985-86, accompanied at least once by a former Army intelligence officer working as a LaRouche consultant. They supposedly went with government troops on a raid to destroy marijuana plantations, and EIR published a special report co-authored by Steinberg, Soviet Unconventional Warfare in Ibero-America: The Case of Guatemala. It was a vigorous defense of Guatemala's brutal army, and urged total war against leftists, Maryknoll priests, and Indians in the highlands, all said to be involved in drug trafficking, gun running, and assorted other criminal and subversive activities. The report accused Amnesty International, which had lambasted Guatemala's human rights violations, of being a "support organization for Soviet-sponsored international terrorism." When Steinberg and his wife were indicted in Boston for obstruction of justice the following year, they obtained a measure of support from Guatemalan rightists. The daily El Grafico carried an article on how "antidrug expert" Steinberg had been framed by a "drug money laundering mafia." According to EIR, El Grafico stated that "those democrats [in the United States] who have made so many campaigns about supposed violations of 'human rights' in other countries, had no qualms about violating the human rights of the Steinberg couple."
Perhaps the cleverest foray of EIR staffers was into Israel in 1986. They conned prominent figures by affecting support for Prime Minister Shimon Peres's plan to bring peace to the Middle East via a multibillion-dollar Marshall Plan. This was just the type of grandiose scheme that the LaRouchians are most experienced at packaging and promoting, thanks to LaRouche's real achievements as the economist of total mobilization. EIR even hinted that Peres's plan might have been inspired by a 1983 LaRouche scheme along these lines. (LaRouche had traveled to Israel at least once to promote it.) EIR published several laudatory articles on the Peres plan, as well as interviews with Israeli officials. When LaRouche was quoted in a London-based Saudi Arabian newspaper in support of the plan, EIR boasted that its "Israeli sources" regarded this article as "very significant." The stage was being set for a ten-day trip to Israel in June by two EIR correspondents. They would gain interviews with Economics and Planning Minister Gad Ya'acobi, former bank of Israel governor Arnon Gafny, private foundation officials, and members of the Knesset.
The EIR representatives' apparent friendliness toward Israel was in blatant contradiction to the LaRouche organization's propaganda efforts in Washington that summer to use the indictment of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to drive a wedge between the United States and Israel (as by accusing the Israelis of working with the Soviets). But this wasn't the only apparent deception. The EIR correspondents while in Israel obtained interviews at the Armand Hammer Fund by presenting themselves as friendly journalists. Yet NCLC members back in Leesburg had just completed a massive dossier on oil tycoon Hammer, portraying him as a Soviet agent and an associate of mobsters. (In a 1988 letter to a journalist writing on Hammer, NCLC security staffer Scott Thompson claimed to have gained information for the dossier via a series of interviews with the late James Angleton, who for years was the CIA's liaison with Mossad. Thompson also said that an early version had been given to an unnamed foreign government involved in negotiations with Hammer's Occidental Petroleum.)
The LaRouchians sold the government of Thailand on their expertise in promoting grand economic designs. In this case it was a plan to use atom bombs to excavate a canal across the country at the Isthmus of Kra, so as to shorten the route for oil tankers from the Persian Gulf to Japan, and perhaps stimulate Thai industrial development along the way. The plan had long been under consideration by Japan's Mitsubishi Research Institute for its "global infrastructure fund." Powerful persons in Thailand became interested in LaRouche's version, thanks to the influence of a wealthy couple, Pakdee and Sophie Tanapura. Pakdee Tanapura was the son of a Thai magnate who owned vast tracts of land in the country's northeast. The Tanapuras had bankrolled LaRouche's European operation for years, and guaranteed an elite audience for LaRouche when he traveled to Bangkok in October 1983 for a FEF-EIR Kra Canal conference. The Thai Minister of Communications and top military officers turned out to hear him. According to New Solidarity, "the warmest welcome . . . came from the old Thai network" that "worked with the OSS in the region." Kevin Coogan, a former member of the NCLC Asia file, interprets this as a reference to associates of the CIA-military "old boys" who ran the Nugan Hand Bank--the kind of military officers LaRouche security adviser Mitchell WerBell would have worked with when he was in Thailand in the late 1960s on CIA assignment.
In 1984 the Thai Communications Ministry co-sponsored a second FEF-EIR conference, and LaRouche again traveled to Bangkok to meet with military leaders. When General Kriangsak Chomanan and four colleagues were jailed in 1985 for alleged involvement in a coup d'etat, the LaRouchians agitated for their release. New Solidarity claimed that they were being kept in jail as a result of pressure from Henry Kissinger and other members of the so-called international oligarchy. But all was not lost. In 1986 New Solidarity announced that the chief of staff of the Thai Army had endorsed the Kra Canal project.
The best-documented relationship of the LaRouchians with a foreign government was with South Africa. In the late 1970s they met with South African diplomats in New York and Washington, staged a conference to promote investment in South Africa, and prepared intelligence reports on anti-apartheid groups for South Africa's Bureau of State Security (BOSS). At the time, BOSS was engaged in LaRouche-style dirty tricks in Europe. It also was conducting a secret influence-buying and propaganda campaign in the United States and Europe financed by a $74 million slush fund. This fund, conduited through the regime's Department of Information, was exposed in 1978 by South African opposition newspapers. The ensuing parliamentary scandal was dubbed "Muldergate," after the late Cornelius Mulder, the Information Minister, who was forced to resign.
Members of the NCLC Africa file approached Johan Adler, information officer at the New York consulate, in 1978. They wanted "to be friendly," Adler said. He sent an aide to the NCLC headquarters, and "they took him on a sort of grand tour--he got the impression they wanted to sell him something." Sure enough, the LaRouchians later tried to sell intelligence materials to the consulate. A similar approach was made to the Washington embassy's information officer, Karl Noffke, who said: "They wanted to alert us about certain forces they think are bad for South Africa--the British, the Wall Street bankers, and so forth." A LaRouche representative also approached Les de Villiers, a former South African information official whose name would feature prominently in Muldergate. De Villiers at the time was working for Sydney S. Baron & Co., a public relations firm that was a registered agent for South Africa. He said LaRouche's man offered to help boost investment in South Africa.
Adler, Noffke, and de Villiers all said they rejected the proposals and did not pay for the unsolicited materials they received. But the NCLC security staff struck a deal with BOSS by a different route. Defectors say they were assigned to call up U.S. anti-apartheid groups such as the American Committee on Africa and pump them for information while posing as sympathetic freelance journalists. The callers were told by top LaRouche aides that the reports were intended for BOSS. This was later confirmed by The New York Times. The reports included profiles of U.S. and British anti-apartheid groups.
The LaRouchians meanwhile sent a special report in early 1977 to John McGoff, an American newspaper publisher who was a close friend of Connie Mulder and a major figure in the slush-fund scandal. This report provided background on the National News Council, the now-defunct newspaper industry ethics committee that had been critical of McGoff, whom the LaRouchians were courting at the time. James Whelan, a former McGoff aide, recalled being "bombarded" with phone calls from them. After checking with McGoff, he humored them. He read over the National News Council report but found it worthless. (It said the NNC was part of a British plot.) Whelan denied that McGoff’s Panax Corporation ever paid for it, but ex-LaRouchians who worked on it say that top LaRouche aides told them it was being prepared under contract and that several thousand dollars was to be paid on delivery.
In 1978 McGoff was named in South African parliamentary hearings as having received over $11 million from Mulder's secret fund. The money was to buy the Washington Star and the Sacramento Union and transform them into pro-South Africa organs. The plan never panned out, and McGoff came under investigation by the Justice Department for failing to register as a foreign agent. (After an investigation lasting almost a decade, charges were finally brought in 1986, but the judge dismissed the case, saying the time limit for prosecution had passed.)
The NCLC's most public pro-South Africa effort was the Conference on Industrial Development of Southern Africa, held in Washington in 1978 under Fusion Energy Foundation sponsorship. The conference was an attempt to head off disinvestment campaigns by offering an alternative strategy of massive investment in regional development, The FEF argued that this would create socioeconomic conditions for the "eventual" abolition of apartheid. (A former leading FEF member recalled that his associates, although willing to "court the Boers," had been too embarrassed to "endorse apartheid openly.") The conference speakers included Dr. William van Rensberg, former technical director of the South African Minerals Bureau and author of South Africa's Strategic Minerals: Pieces on a Continental Chessboard, published and distributed in the United States and Europe with money from Mulder's secret fund, A sprinkling of diplomats and corporate representatives showed up to hear van Rensberg describe the migrant labor system in South African mines. "While one may argue about the morality," he said, "it is not always appreciated [that] the mines provide these workers with certain basic skills and offer them, in some instances, their first contact with Western civilization."
A hint that the Pretoria government was appreciative appeared later that year in To the Point International, a South African newsmagazine. A full-page article by the magazine's managing editor paid tribute to LaRouche as an economic theoretician. It said he had "access to the thinking and plans of trans-Atlantic policymakers at the highest levels," and that "his semantics may be off-target but his message runs true." In 1979 a South African parliamentary commission revealed that To the Point International was one of Mulder's secret operations. Foreign Minister Pik Botha then confirmed that General Hendrik van den Bergh, the head of BOSS, had arranged the magazine’s financing.
Articles and reports prepared by the NCLC Africa file throughout the late 1970s record its attempts to establish an ideological rapport with the apartheid regime. One report described a network of South African "humanists" who were said to share many of LaRouche's views. The report, prepared by David Cherry, cited Nicolaas Diederichs, a former South African President, now deceased. Cherry claimed to have been in correspondence with Diederichs and warmly praised his "humanism." In fact, Diederichs was a leading architect of apartheid and a Nazi sympathizer during World War II.
Another supposed member of the network was tycoon Anton Rupert, a major figure in the Broederbond, the Afrikaaner secret society that controlled the ruling National Party. Professing to detect traces of a LaRouche-style philosophy in Rupert's business pep talks, Cherry praised him for allegedly maintaining the ethnic purity (no blacks, Jews, or British) of his corporate board. Cherry also expressed admiration for a scheme of Rupert and certain West German bankers to channel massive new investment into South Africa. (The 1978 FEF conference was partly an attempt to popularize this scheme.)
The most imaginative of the NCLC reports suggested that white South Africa's destiny is to bring the blessings of "humanism" to all southern Africa. It called for a massive expansion of the notorious contract labor system for purposes of cultural uplift. Included were maps of mineral deposits, railroads, and proposed energy grids for all of southern Africa. The linchpin of the scheme was to be South African domination of Mozambique. The choice of this Marxist nation that borders on South Africa was explained as necessary for "forcing" contract laborers "in the appropriate direction." Domination of Mozambique would create a "geometry" in accord with which anti-apartheid "terrorist networks" could be "mopped up." Strongly implied was that South Africa should invade and occupy its neighbors. But this plan proved to be too much for Dr. van Rensberg. In a 1979 telephone interview he called the NCLC "a bunch of dangerous crackpots." Besides, he added, their "maps were all wrong."
NCLC security staff defector Charles Tate says that the NCLC continued its relationship with the South African government into the mid-1980s. In 1984, he says, it received $5,000 to provide an updated report on U.S. anti-apartheid groups. Once again, undercover phone calls were made to activists. Tate says he personally edited the report, and that the contract was handled through a "cutout," a commercial research firm in Manhattan. "It was understood by everyone involved that the money came from the South African government," Tate says. But was money paid only for research? That fall the LaRouchians disrupted a Washington press conference held by seventeen U.S. Catholic bishops to protest apartheid. LaRouchian heckling "broke up" the event and "prevented questioning by genuine reporters," wrote Steve Askin of the National Catholic Reporter.
In 1985 LaRouche's Schiller Institute actively courted Bishop Desmond Tutu, the anti-apartheid Nobel Prize winner, who apparently had no idea of just whom he was dealing with. New Solidarity boasted that Tutu had endorsed the Schiller Institute's "Declaration of the Inalienable Rights of Man." The following February, EIR reprinted a "historic" speech by South African President P.W. Botha claiming that apartheid had been abolished. More obfuscation followed: EIR published an interview in Durban with Chief Buthelezi, leader of the Zulus, but the commentary praised Botha and certain high-ranking military figures as "reformers." Reverting to its hard line, EIR praised South African "strike aircraft and commandos" for an attack on African National Congress bases in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It was the 1978 co-prosperity plan all over again--a "grand design" by which South Africa would become the "‘Japan’ of the African continent."
In spite of the NCLC's ties with South Africa, Guatemala, and the CIA, many conservatives have suggested that the NCLC might ultimately be a KGB operation. Of course the NCLC denies the charges, and of the dozens of NCLC defectors interviewed for this book, including those who were high up in the organization, not one believes the NCLC is actually controlled by the KGB, or even that it is secretly still wedded to Communist ideology. However, most agree that the NCLC is capable of opportunistic dealings with governments across the political spectrum to further LaRouche's financial interests and his drive for power. The LaRouchians have acknowledged Soviet contacts on numerous occasions. Just as they found it useful to flirt with the Polish government in the early 1980s, so they found it rewarding to deal with the Soviets for almost ten years.
The Soviet connection began in 1974, when LaRouche aides met a Soviet UN mission official, Nikolai Logiunov, who passed them on to Gennady Nicolayevich Serebreyakov, a KGB officer attached to the mission. The latter met regularly with Gus Kalimtgis during 1974-75. LaRouche met twice with Serebreyakov, once at the Soviet mission and once at NCLC headquarters.
The same year the LaRouchians met Serebreyakov, they founded the Fusion Energy Foundation to work among scientists, including those engaged in classified work. The FEF zeroed in on researchers in plasma physics and fusion energy, areas with major military applications. Most of the scientists they called to pump for information were unaware that the FEF was a cover for the "science section" of the NCLC intelligence division, A January 1975 internal document sets forth LaRouche's plan for this elusive unit, which he has almost never referred to in any subsequent document. It would report directly to the NCLC's intelligence director, Criton Zoakos. Its duties would include forming collaborative relationships with specialists at the Atomic Energy Commission's "CTR division, laboratories, universities, and so forth," using the FEF as a "vehicle" when appropriate. LaRouche suggested organizing "ad hoc meetings of working discussion groups" in order to "accelerate the useful exchange of knowledge," but urged the science section to be very careful in its handling of these "sensitive relationships."
In 1975 a top FEF officer traveled to Moscow, supposedly to attend a scientific conference. He was welcomed even though the official line of the Communist Party USA and the Soviet press was that the CIA controlled the LaRouche organization. Meanwhile, LaRouche developed an elaborate espionage philosophy to provide an alibi for dealing privately with the Soviets. The NCLC was the "open channel" through which the KGB could pass "policy-relevant" information to the CIA, and vice versa. The NCLC didn't have to tell the CIA about these meetings; all it had to do was transmit the information over its telex lines. The National Security Agency monitored the lines and would automatically pick it up. As to anything secret the NCLC might learn from American scientists, not to worry--the NCLC was totally surrounded by government agents. Anything secret it learned would be something planted by the CIA because it wanted the KGB to get it through the open channel. Such information would be either disinformation or "policy-relevant."
Somewhere in this fantasy the idea of guarding national security secrets was entirely lost. It became permissible to transmit anything to anybody, because everything was just a dog and pony show. When two Soviet spies were arrested in New Jersey in 1977, New Solidarity declared them to be innocent and claimed that the NCLC had been dealing with them. The Soviet spies were not really spies but "conduits," and one of their "major functions" had been the "transmission of USLP/NCLC materials" to Moscow. This wasn't questionable behavior on the NCLC's part, for the materials had been "prepackaged by elements of the U.S. intelligence community as part of existing courtesy arrangements between the Soviet and U.S. intelligence services." Just why the Soviet spies were arrested if they were part of a "courtesy" channel was not made clear. But it is curious that New Solidarity's extraordinary revelation did not lead to any trouble with the Justice Department, just as LaRouche's threat that same year to kill Carter led to no trouble with the Secret Service. Already the pattern was establishing itself that LaRouche could fantasize and do whatever he pleased without any fear of consequences.
An equally suspicious incident was described in a 1981 NCLC internal memorandum signed by LaRouche security aide Paul Goldstein. After referring to a "certain [Soviet] UN contact" and the need for "clear channels into the Soviets," the memo mentioned trips by FEF scientists to Moscow for ''scientific collaboration." During one such trip an FEF representative, whom the memo identified only as "the man without shoes," prepared a ninety-page report for the Soviets "on the U.S. scientific community." The Soviets "found the information given to them quite useful." Although the memo expressed concern over a possible "national security problem," it contained a boast that "our open policy commitment to public cooperation with the Soviets on scientific and related questions makes our defense nearly airtight." In fact, there had been several FEF trips to Moscow following the 1975 opener. In December 1978, Chuck Stevens, well known among American fusion scientists for his wide-ranging gossip on research contracts, promotions, and job changes in the fusion (and later the Star Wars) community, attended a laser physics conference in Moscow along with another FEF representative. On another visit an FEF physicist was given a tour of the Soviet science complex near Novosibirsk in Siberia--and later gave a slide show on it at NCLC headquarters.
By the early 1980s LaRouche's scientific intelligence gathering and its possible Soviet links had become a cause for concern to Generals Keegan and Graham and the Heritage Foundation. Keegan warned in a 1984 interview that the LaRouchians had penetrated "every private and government organization in the United States" involved in fusion research. "I have observed with a sense of mounting shock," he said, "their success in eliciting what I thought was sensitive information." John Bosma, editor of Military Space magazine, echoed Keegan’s view. He said that in 1981, when he was on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, a LaRouche follower approached him seeking to find out the Cruise missile's odometer range, a closely guarded military secret.
The LaRouche organization's relationship with the Soviet Union ranged beyond military and scientific matters. Former NCLC intelligence staffer Kevin Coogan writes that in 1979 LaRouche met in West Germany with Julian Semenov, a Soviet spy novelist widely believed to be linked to the KGB. Semenov asked the LaRouchians to investigate the disappearance of a czarist treasure looted by the Nazis. The LaRouchians found no treasure, but they did publish an EIR teaser about it. They also published an article by Semenov on the Kennedy assassination. (Predictably, he speculated that Peking was involved.) Another key Soviet contact was Ioni Andronov, a correspondent for Literaturnaya Gazeta. Andronov frequently chatted with Paul Goldstein, whom he occasionally quoted as a counterintelligencc expert. In one interview Goldstein told Andronov he thought the so-called Bulgarian role in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul was a hoax. On this point he was probably right, but he went on to suggest that the CIA might have been involved--an allegation for which there is no evidence whatsoever.
According to Coogan, the LaRouchians met regularly with Soviet officials in Washington as late as 1983. The LaRouchians claim they provided reports on these contacts to Judge Clark's office at the NSC. Whatever the truth, LaRouchian publications until the death of Leonid Brezhnev displayed a certain degree of affection for hard-line Stalinism because of its no-nonsense attitude toward Zionists and other dissenters and its commitment to central economic planning. New Solidarity's obituary on Brezhnev praised him as a "nation builder" and avoided any mention of his invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. Thereafter, as LaRouche became more heavily involved in supporting Star Wars and NATO, the NCLC line changed. Moscow became the "Third Rome," a center of unremitting Russian Orthodox evil. When Gorbachev took power, the LaRouchians said he was the Antichrist.
The Soviets in turn took serious note for the first time of LaRouche's West European political intrigues. In the wake of the 1986 assassination of Olof Palme, the Soviet press depicted the LaRouchians as the prime suspects. LaRouche countered that the KGB did it, a charge for which there was no more rhyme or reason than Goldstein's allegations about the CIA and the Pope. Meanwhile, LaRouche claimed that the October 1986 government raid on his headquarters in Virginia was Soviet-inspired. According to LaRouche, when Reagan and Gorbachev met in Iceland, Gorbachev delivered an ultimatum: Either you get rid of LaRouche or there'll be no arms deal. In Paris, LaRouche sued the pro-glasnost Soviet magazine New Times for calling him a "Nazi without the swastika." It was basically the same suit he had brought repeatedly without success in American courts. The pro-glasnost Soviet magazine chose to play by Western legal rules: They mounted an aggressive courtroom defense, entering LaRouche's own writings as evidence. The Paris High Court rejected LaRouche's suit and ordered him to pay costs as well as damages to the magazine and its distributors.
LaRouche often pokes fun at those who would depict him as simply a pawn for East or West. "As long as some slow-thinking folk believed that we were CIA, and some other foolish folk believed that we were KGB, our mere continuing our own quality of independent intelligence-work kept the game on the field," he wrote in 1981. But even the most independent-minded ideologue is going to lean toward one side or the other. LaRouche's great dream was to rise to power in America with the support of the right. It was thus natural that he should put more effort into courting the CIA than the KGB.
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