Friday, September 21, 2007

Lyndon LaRouche infiltrating antiwar movement

This is an important expose by Chip Berlet. Berlet has devoted a large part of his career to exposing the misdeeds of LaRouche and his followers. I've found his reporting to be factually accurate. His books (here and here and here) on the far right are well worth reading.

(Note: For ease of reading, I've moved the text and links from Mr. Berlet's footnotes to brackets within the text.)

from
Chip Berlet: "Webster G. Tarpley’s Toxic Waste is Polluting the Antiwar Movement":

There is no question that author Webster Griffin Tarpley has become a divisive and destructive force within the U.S. antiwar movement. The real question is why antiwar activists would pay him any attention in the first place. Activists are in an uproar over an incident at a peace encampment in Kenebunkport, Maine where Tarpley is implicated in a stunt where well-known peace activists such as Jamilla El-Shafei, Cindy Sheehan, Dahlia Wasfi, and Ann Wright were tricked into signing a document they thought was merely a call for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. The fine print in the document echoes Tarpley’s claim that Cheney is plotting a pre-election coup using a domestic terrorist attack as an excuse.

Tarpley is a former acolyte of crackpot and convicted felon Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. You remember LaRouche. He is generally described as a perennial Presidential candidate who once said the Queen of England ran the global drug trade. Tarpley may have left the LaRouche group, but it has not left him. Tarpley acts as a sockpuppet for LaRouche, spreading delirious venom throughout the antiwar movement. The LaRouche group has a long history of conning people into signing statements based on misleading descriptions of the actual text. Déjà vu.

With so much factual evidence of wrongdoing, incompetence, malfeasance, and just plain lying on the part of the Bush Administration, there is no reason to spread Tarpley’s gossip. The dramatic erosion of civil liberties in the United States is bad enough without embracing the delusional warnings by Tarpley that “neocons always prefer a coup d'etat to an election.” [Read here.]

The current tempest traces back to July 4 th, 2007 when Philadelphia peace activists held an Emergency Antiwar Convention. It was an attempt to merge the movement against the war in Iraq with the “9/11 Truth” movement. The event featured 9/11 conspiracy films, as well as presentations from Tarpley and another former LaRouchite activist, Lewis DuPont Smith. Attendees issued a Call “In the spirit of our Declaration of Independence” urging others to join activist organizations throughout the country to collaborate and forge common strategies and actions.” [ “The ‘Act-Independent United Front Program’, submitted By Webster Griffin Tarpley and approved by The Philadelphia Emergency Anti-War Convention, July 4, 2007’ The Philadelphia Platform,’ http://www.waronfreedom.org/tarpley/philly.html. See the: event described at http://actindependent.org/, and http://actindependent.org/peac.html, and the full statement at http://actindependent.org/philadelphiaplatform.pdf. See http://www.waronfreedom.org/tarpley/chicago-resolution.html.] The statement included the phrase: “Government by the People, not by cliques of bankers and financiers,” which could have been copied from a number of Nazi publications from the 1930s which identified the culprits as Jews.

Tarpley has introduced similar statements at other meetings, including one in Chicago. A few weeks later, with his star rising in the antiwar movement, Tarpley posted a long article on the Jeff Rense website warning: "Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer, Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him." [Read here.]

According to Tarpley, antiwar activists needed to quickly confront “the Cheney doctrine, which calls for a new super 9/11 with weapons of mass destruction in the US, to be used as the pretext for a nuclear attack on Iran and for martial law at home.” [Read here.]

This is not the first time Tarpley has predicted an apocalyptic political event. In 2004, he posted a warning: "Bush Regime working out Procedures for postponing November Election." [As of September 11, 2007, the Tarpley article is still on Michel Chossudovsky's Global Research website: Webster Griffin Tarpley, “Bush Regime working out Procedures for postponing November Election, posted July 10, 2004] The election, needless to say, actually took place as scheduled, although there were legitimate complaints about vote suppression to benefit Republican candidates.

Tarpley is co-author (with LaRouche researcher Anton Chaitkin) [A recent article by Anton Chaitkin is BAE, Baroness Symons in Black Operations Against LaRouche] , of the book George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, originally published by the LaRouche publishing house. Progressive author and blogger David Neiwert reviewed the book, noting that “Like most LaRouche texts:”

...the Bush "biography" is a mélange of fact and distortion, written in a highly suppositional style that makes numerous leaps of logic and asserts connections where there is no real evidence to support it, at other times omitting exculpatory or contrary information that reveals a more complete picture. Sifting through it requires a great deal of work, but there are nuggets of fact woven into their text that are substantiated and which deserve proper consideration.

In 2005 Tarpley published a book that alleged the Bush Administration staged the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA. [Tarpley’s book is published by Progressive Press, http://www.waronfreedom.org, which also publishes a book by Eric Hufschmid, Painful Questions . Hufschmid is described as one of the researchers "who openly mix 9/11 skepticism with Holocaust denial or revisionism," see "Holocaust Denial Versus 9/11 Truth," http://911review.com/denial/holocaust.html] LaRouche takes a similar position. According to LaRouche the attacks on 9/11 should be:

”recognized, sooner or later, as the product of a witting "inside job." Finally, my detailed knowledge of the onrushing strategic crisis within which those attacks were situated, allowed no other conclusion, than that this was an attempted military coup d'état with a global strategic purpose of the most ominous implications imaginable.” [Read here.]

While continuing to follow the polluted path blazed by notorious crackpot and homophobic antisemite Lyndon LaRouche, Tarpley is a regular contributor and featured poster on the Jeff Rense website. If we can set aside the UFO mania found on Rense.com, there is still the promotion of Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

At some point leaders of the antiwar movement need to have a discussion about the larger issue of conspiracism. Right now, however, it is clear that some progressives have been snared by Tarpley’s mesmerizing presentations. This could undermine the credibility of the antiwar movement, alienate its existing base, and jeopardize its relationship with existing allies. This should be obvious no matter what your individual position is on the unanswered questions surrounding 9/11. The antiwar movement needs to welcome individuals from a broad range of political beliefs who share the goal of ending the war in Iraq. However this open door policy should not include allowing charlatans and hucksters to disrupt the movement. It is time to slam the door in the face of Webster G. Tarpley and his ilk.

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