While the term “Deep State” is fairly recent, these embedded leftist networks have been around for at least 100 years and have been extremely successful in carrying out their goals of subverting U.S. interests and advancing socialism both here and abroad.
One of the most notorious — and treasonous — Deep State operations was the “Nuclear Freeze” movement of the early 1980s. While this is often portrayed by mainstream historians as a series of harmless anti-nuke protests by “peaceniks,” it was far more serious than that.
On the surface, this movement was an effort by millions of well-meaning people around the world to put an end to nuclear weapons.
However, at the time — 1982-1983 — the Soviets enjoyed a significant advantage in nuclear missiles on the European front and Western European leaders were terrified of a future Soviet attack. Indeed, in 2009, former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze stated at a James Baker Foundation dinner that the Soviets had plans to invade Germany should the two Germanies attempt to unify, adding that they seriously considered the use of tactical nuclear weapons!
He also said it was only due to the relationship he had with President George H.W. Bush and Chief of Staff James Baker that such an invasion was averted.
When President Ronald Reagan announced in 1981 that he intended to place new missiles in Western Europe to deter a Russian attack on Western Europe, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev countered by proposing a nuclear freeze.
Right on cue, the Deep State swung into action.
Nuclear freeze groups were formed; massive rallies and protests occurred all over Europe and Democratic legislators all over the US passed nuclear freeze resolutions. Moreover, congressional Democrats made nuclear arms a major issue, shockingly passing a freeze resolution in May of 1983.
This movement was a classic Deep State effort that involved congressional leaders, media allies, government bureaucrats, Capitol Hill aids, grass roots leaders, leftist foundations, and, incredibly, Soviet front groups such as the World Peace Council and the U.S. Peace Council, not to mention an array of grass-roots disarmament groups that collaborated with them.
While some freeze organizers claimed that both the USA and the USSR were targets, realistically, only the USA was targeted. There were no nuclear freeze protests or rallies in the USSR.
Moreover, as a veritable army of former KGB officers will attest, the Soviets initiated this movement because they desperately wanted to freeze into place their nuclear missile superiority. Gen. Ion Pacepa, head of the Romanian Secret Police and the highest-ranking East Block defector in history, stated in his book “Red Horizons” that Brezhnev considered the freeze movement among “ways to disarm the West.”
Pacepa also said that the Soviet intelligence services fed bogus nuclear arsenal statistics to the nuclear freeze movement, meaning that the real numbers were likely much higher.
In 1931, Soviet official Dimitry Manuilsky gave a speech before the Lenin School of Political Warfare in which he declared: “War to the hilt between communism and capitalism is inevitable. Today, of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in thirty or forty years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise. The Western world will have to be put to sleep. So, we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There shall be electrifying overtures and unheard-of concessions. The Capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate to their own destruction.”
In the wake of massive nuclear disarmament rallies in the Netherlands in 1981, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Soviet agent Vadim Leonov was deported for his involvement with local disarmament groups and had boasted in a drunken stupor, “If Moscow decided that 50,000 demonstrators take to the street … then they take to the street … I should know because not only am I daily involved with these clandestine activities, I am also one of those who transmit the orders coming from Moscow.”
While, of course, there were all kinds of garden variety liberal disarmament groups involved in this movement, the key decisions were being made by groups either controlled or heavily influenced by communists. The idea was to influence public opinion to the degree that it would be politically impossible for Reagan to follow through on his promise to increase and modernize our nuclear missiles arsenal in Western Europe.
However, in order to be an effective and growing movement, they needed funding — so the Rockefeller family stepped up to the plate and hosted a confidential meeting on July 7, 1982, of the leading leftist foundations and a few key nuclear freeze activists. By a stroke of good luck, I was given access to documents from that meeting, which occurred in New York City at 777 UN Plaza in the Dag Hammarskjold lounge.
Also attending was pollster Lou Harris, who advised the group as to which themes would best convince the American people to disarm unilaterally. Select media representatives also attended, such as Vice President of NBC Jarobin Gilbert Jr., who, I am confident, promised them all the coverage they wanted.
The funders attending included a who’s who of the large liberal foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, J.C. Penny Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the meeting’s host, the Rockefeller Foundation. Also present were a clique of leftist foundations that had worked with Soviet front groups on different projects. This group included representatives from the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation, Stern Fund, Columbia Foundation, Bydale Foundation, Samuel Rubin Foundation, Max and Anna Levinson Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, the CS Fund, J. M. Kaplan Fund, Taconic Foundation, Stanley Foundation, HKH Foundation and the Ruth Mott Foundation.
It should be noted that in Western Europe the disarmament movement was funded by Soviet front groups, as documented in a declassified CIA report. Probably to the great relief of the Soviets, the leftist and Marxist foundations gladly played this role in the USA.
There were also a few key activists present, such as Marcus Raskin, the director of the Institute for Policy Studies, which at the time was America’s leading pro-Soviet think tank with a history of supporting communist causes and terrorist groups during the cold war.
Also present was Carl Marcy of the American Committee for East-West Accord and adviser to the Center for International Policy, a hard-left group spun off from the aforementioned IPS. ACEWA’s co-chairman was Seymore Melman, a director of SANE, a disarmament group that worked closely with the Soviet front group World Peace Council in the 1980s.
The Youth Project was in attendance and its claim to fame was that it was headed for many years by well-known communist organizer Marge Tabankin, a Saul Alinsky disciple and former SDS leader who supported the communist Vietcong during the Vietnam war.
Also present was Cora Weiss, one of the most visible communists in the USA. Hailing from a prominent communist family, she also supported the Vietcong and actually raised funds for Hanoi and mocked Vietnamese refugees who had escaped from that communist nightmare. Indeed, she was involved with dozens of hard-core communist and pro-Soviet groups such as the Women’s Strike for Peace and the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice. She was also involved with founding the IPS.
At a meeting one month earlier, the members of the disarmament movement met to plan a massive nuclear freeze rally in New York City for June 12, 1982, which coincided with the UN’s Special Session on Disarmament. The Soviets were well represented, with activists from Soviet-funded fronts and pro-Soviet groups such as the Communist Party, USA, World Peace Council, U.S. Peace Council, National Lawyers Guild and Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
As the FBI stated in 1982 congressional hearings, the “U.S. Peace Council was directly involved in the planning for the June 12 demonstration” and was “responsible for actually coordinating and planning the rally.”
The CIA concurred: “The WPC leadership devoted much attention to planning a propaganda show to coincide with the second session on disarmament at the United Nations.”
But this broad front included lots of fellow travelers who apparently had no moral qualms about working with the most murderous regime in world history, the USSR — groups such as Mobilization for Survival, American Friends Service Committee, Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Clergy and Laity Concerned, Pax Christi, Fellowship of Reconciliation, National Council of Churches, and the War Resisters League. (The collaboration of the disarmament groups with Soviet front groups is well documented in “War Called Peace” by Western Goals Foundation and in hearings titled “Soviet Active Measures” conducted by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House of Representatives, July 13-14, 1982.)
At this meeting, a discussion broke out about whether the protest banners, themes, media releases and so forth should equally blame the USSR for the nuclear arms race. According to an FBI report on this meeting, the “Soviet-controlled organizations participated at the highest levels of the June 12 Committee and exerted pressure to influence the June 12 Committee to focus on U.S. nuclear weapon policies as opposed to Soviet policies.”
Of course, this would not have occurred without the agreement of many of the supposedly non-communist disarmament groups, but this decision set the stage for promoting the Soviet strategy of blaming the USA for the “arms rac.” and ignoring the USSR’s superior nuclear arsenal in Western Europe. This was also reported by Herb Romerstein and KGB defector Stanlislav Levchenko in “The KGD Against the ‘Main Enemy’ — How the Soviet Intelligence Service Operates Against the United States.”
Levchenko and Romerstein also wrote that a few weeks after the rally, the Communist Party sent a secret memo to its activists boasting that “The party was extremely active in working to make the June 12th demonstration an outstanding success.”
Over 700,000 people attended this protest and, of course, it was massively covered by US media, which made a herculean effort to avoid mentioning the communist involvement. Since many large signs and banners at the protest featured the words “Communist Party” or “Socialist Party,” the mainstream media photographers had to be very careful to avoid photographing them.
Shamefully, not one mainstream media outlet mentioned the involvement of Soviet front groups involved in organizing this rally or the nuclear freeze movement in general. This Hall of Shame should also include leaders of most of the major mainstream religious denominations, who exploited biblical morality to support disarming our country in the face of our enemies.
The nuclear freeze leaders had no problem working with communists who represented a police state that murdered 50 million of its own people in a quest for a socialist “utopia.” It stretches logic to believe that these well-informed leaders did not know that they were advancing the Soviet Union’s imperialist interests at the expense of America’s national security interests.
We should all be thankful that Reagan ignored the political pressure and the pervasive pro-Soviet propaganda that dominated the media and went ahead and placed new missiles in Western Europe. When that occurred, it was the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire; its slow unraveling began not long after.
The nuclear freeze movement was the USSR’s last gasp to hold onto their dream of world conquest.
Had this group of Democrat and pro-Soviet operatives — the Deep State of that era — had their way, those missiles would not have been placed, and Europe may very well have succumbed to communism.
As with all Deep State efforts, the goal of the nuclear freeze movement was to undermine America’s national security to the advantage of our enemies. The Deep State effort to interfere with the 2016 elections with assistance from foreign operatives was treasonous, but we all need to understand that this is nothing new.
This Op-Ed is the second part of a multi-part series on the Deep State by former California state assemblyman Steve Baldwin. The first part appeared on The Western Journal on May 10.
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