In George Orwell’s classic dystopia 1984, the mutability of the past is a lethal weapon in the arsenal of tyranny: if history can be molded into whatever shape is required, all the better to serve the Party and Big Brother. Quite a feat, believable perhaps only as fiction, and yet this is surpassed by what our “liberals” have accomplished in real life: the abolition of history, at least in their own minds. As writer Yasha Levine shows here, the editors of Mother Jones – a magazine that has published the most “out there” “Russia-gate” tall tales – have completely forgotten their own history as the victim of Russia-hating anti-“subversive” government witch-hunters:
“[O]f all the liberal media, Mother Jones should be most ashamed for fueling the moral panic about Russian ‘disinformation.’ It wasn’t too long ago that the Reagan Right attacked Mother Jones for spreading ‘Kremlin disinformation’ and subverting America. There were threats and leaks to the media about a possible Senate investigation into Mother Jones serving as a Kremlin disinformation dupe, a threat that hung over the magazine throughout the early Reagan years. A new Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST for short) was set up in 1981 to investigate Kremlin ‘disinformation’ and ‘active measures’ in America, and the American ‘dupes’ who helped Moscow subvert our way of life. That subcommittee was created to harass and repress leftist anti-imperial dissent in America, using ‘terrorism’ as the main threat, and ‘disinformation’ as terrorism’s fellow traveler. The way the SST committee put it, ‘terrorism’ and ‘Kremlin disinformation’ were one and the same, a meta-conspiracy run out of Moscow to weaken America.
“And Mother Jones was one of the first American media outlets in the SST committee’s sights.”
As Levine points out, Adam Hochschild, the founder of Mother Jones, “responded publicly to the threats coming out of the Senate” by pointing out that the accusations were short on facts, but long on the implication that anyone who criticizes our military buildup or US foreign policy was a Kremlin agent. The same thing is happening today – with the difference being that Mother Jones is now in the role of accuser.
Does David Corn, whose writings for Mother Jones have taken on an Alex Jones-like tone, even know the history of his own magazine? Does Ms. Jeffrey? Corn is no dummy, he’s just a fanatic partisan, the type of person who will throw scruples, accuracy, and the burden of history overboard in order to justify the ruthless pursuit of power for its own sake. Jeffrey, on the other hand, is indeed a complete dummy, who doesn’t seem to realize the irony of turning her magazine – named after a socialist – into the house organ of those who blame Bernie Sanders (as well as those Russkies!) for Hillary Clinton’s well-deserved defeat.
So who cares about Mother Jones, anyway? Well, it’s not just about one magazine: it’s an entire liberal tradition that’s disappeared as suddenly and seemingly inexplicably as the dinosaurs, gone down the Memory Hole without a trace left behind.
There’s another tradition, however, one that gets far less examination, and that is the history of “leftist” individuals and organizations that became tools of the CIA, and instruments of the War Party. Here’s an article on civil rights leader Bayard Rustin’s collaboration with Langley, which the author finds baffling. He doesn’t understand how someone with leftist views – and who worked with Martin Luther King – could become a government stooge and tool. That’s because he doesn’t know the history: Rustin was a member of the Independent Socialist League and a follower of Max Shachtman, a dissident Trotskyist who came to support the Vietnam war. Shachtman mentored many a neocon.
During this time CIA support for leftist groups and publications was a fixed strategy central to their program of stopping the Communist advance in Europe and elsewhere: Partisan Review, the New Leader, the Paris Review, Encounter, and even the Kenyon Review, received covert funding from Uncle Sam. And while these outlets were often critical of official US policy, the advantage was that they imbued Washington’s international anti-communist crusade with a left-liberal tinge.
If we put this history in the present context – that is, the context of an “intelligence community” that is out to overthrow an elected President of the United States – then there are some disturbing conclusions we’re forced to draw. First and foremost, we have to look carefully at the outlets that are serving as mouthpieces for our disaffected spooks and wonder if they are receiving the same sort of support as, say, Encounter once did. One of the main mouthpieces, the Washington Post, has openly won a very lucrative CIA contract, which they don’t even bother to hide, but the penumbra of behind-the-scenes manipulation extends far beyond Jeff Bezos & Co.
The entire panoply of “mainstream” liberal publications who have been the loudest voices of the anti-Trump “Resistance” must all come under suspicion: we have sufficient grounds to ask whether they’re being funded, aided, and abetted by the clandestine organizers of what is effectively an attempted coup d’etat.
The crackpot conspiracy theorists of #TheResistance – Louise Mensch, Seth Abramson, and that Garland nutbag – are constantly claiming to have “inside” information fed to them by anonymous intelligence officials. Why not take them at their word? While the “scoops” they’re “reporting” to their deluded followers may be complete bullshit, there’s a purpose to spreading manure so thickly – in hopes of raising a profitable crop. In this case, the crop is a substantial number of fanatic conspiracists who think the nation is under the control of Vladimir Putin.
I think we have to assume that the CIA and its attendant “intelligence community” have infiltrated our domestic politics as thoroughly as they did during the cold war – if not more so. After all, this is their biggest “regime change” operation to date – one carried out right here in the good old US of A. This means that the constituent parts of #TheResistance – the organized groups, the leaders, the journalists – are all under a cloud of suspicion. With some of these sock puppets, the strings are all too visible: David Corn, for one, has been semi-openly working with what look to be elements of the intelligence community, to the extent that he really ought to be giving them a byline. Others are more subtle, but the end result is the same: a chorus of “liberal” and even “left” voices descrying the alleged conquest of the US by Russia.
The eradication of traditional liberalism, the unbalancing of our politics, the paranoid style infused into our daily discourse – these are just a few of the terrible effects the “Russia-gate” hoax has visited on the country. And of course our foreign policy is horribly distorted, with both the “Left” and the neoconservative Right out to start a new cold war. The danger of a nuclear conflict, which we thought had passed with the falling of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union, haunts us once again.
Postscript: On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who has written in in response to my cancer diagnosis: many thanks for your words of encouragement. And I have good news in that regard: my treatment appears to be working. I am currently taking a combination therapy of the new drug Keytruda with chemotherapy, and I have to report that every day I am feeling much better. And it’s not even been two months since the treatments started.
Keep your fingers crossed!
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.