on His Case
The following is the opening statement made by Lyndon LaRouche at independent hearings convened by the Schiller Institute in late August 1995. The hearings heard testimony on the subject of misconduct at the U.S. Department of Justice, in four areas: the Frühmenschen prosecutions of black elected officials; the Demjanjuk case; the LaRouche case; and the case of Kurt Waldheim. The hearings were chaired by prominent Alabama attorney J.L. Chestnut, and former U.S. Congressman from South Carolina James Mann. nt>
James Mann: If anyone needs an introduction to the next presenter, I suggest you see him after the meeting. We're delighted to have Lyndon LaRouche.
Lyndon LaRouche: Just for the record, I'll state a few facts which bear upon the circumstances in which certain events befell me.
I was born in Sept. 8, 1922, in Rochester, New Hampshire, lived there for the first 10 years of my life, lived for the next 22 years of my life in Lynn, Mass., except for service overseas. I moved to New York City, where I lived until July of 1983, and, since that time, except for a period of incarceration,
I have been a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
I attended university a couple of times during the course before the war or at the beginning of the war, and after it; and then had a career in management consulting, which lasted until about 1972, tapered off, sort of.
My most notable professional achievement was developed during the years 1948-1952, in certain discoveries of a fundamental scientific nature in respect to economics, and my professional qualifications are essentially derived from that.
In the course of time, in 1964, approximately, I was persuaded that things were being done to change the United States, which, from my view, were the worst possible disaster that could befall this nation. And thus, while I had given up any hope of political improvement in this country before then, to speak of, I felt I had to do something. So I became involved part time, from 1966 through 1973, in teaching a one-semester course on economics, largely on the graduate level, at a number of campus locations, chiefly in New York City, but also in Pennsylvania.
In the course of this, a number of these students who participated in these classes, became associated with me, and, out of this association, came the birth of a nascent political organization, as much a philosophical organization as political. Our central commitment was Third World issues and related issues, that is, that economic justice for what is called the Third World is essential for a just society for all nations. I became particularly attached to this, during military service overseas in India, where I saw what colonialism does to people, and I was persuaded at the time, as I believe a majority of the people who were in service with me, that we were coming to the end of a war which we had not foreseen but which we had been obliged to fight, and that if we allowed the circumstances that I saw to prevail, in the Third World, we would bring upon ourselves some kind of disaster, either war or something comparable down the line.
And that was essentially our commitment as an association.
We became rather unpopular with a number of institutions, including McGeorge Bundy's Ford Foundation. About 1969, we made a mess of a few projects he was funding, by exposing them. And we also became unpopular with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, perhaps at the behest of McGeorge Bundy.
In 1973, according to a document later issued under the Freedom of Information Act by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting at all times under supervision of Washington headquarters, hatched a plot to have me eliminated, or to induce the Communist Party U.S.A., that my elimination would solve a number of their problems. There actually was an abortive attempt on me during that period. I knew the FBI had been involved. I couldn't prove it then, but I knew it, and, later, a document appeared showing that.
From that point on, during the 1970s, until the end of COINTELPRO, we were constantly beset by the FBI. Our main weapon against the FBI was jokes. We used to make some jokes about the FBI, which we would pass around, to try to persuade them to keep off our tail, but they kept coming, and all kinds of harassment.
Then, in 1982, there was a new development. I sensed it happening, but I received the documents later, the events which led to my, what I would call, a fraudulently obtained indictment and conviction and incarceration.
It started, according to the record, and I had some sensibility this was going on at the time, with Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State (with whom no love was lost between us). Kissinger went to William Webster and others, soliciting an FBI or other government operation against me and my associates. This led, as the record later showed, to a decision by Henry Kissinger's friends on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, recommending an operation against me and my associates. This was adopted during the same month of January by Judge Webster, then Director of the FBI, who passed the implementation of this instruction along to his subordinate, Oliver "Buck" Revell, recently retired from the FBI, I believe.
The first inkling I had of this, was in about April of 1983, at which time a New York banker, John Train, who is very intelligence-witting, shall we say, from the private bank of Smith and Train in New York City, held a salon at which various government agents, private individuals, the Anti-Defamation League, for example, and also NBC-TV News, the Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal and others, were represented.
The purpose was to coordinate an array of libels, a menu of libels, which would be commonly used by the news media, in an attempt to defame me, and hopefully, from their standpoint, to lead to criminal action against me and my associates.
In January of 1984, this attack came into the open, launched by NBC-TV, which had been a participant in this salon of Train's, which launched the pattern, which was the pattern of coverage by all U.S. news media, major news media, and many minor news media. From the period of the end of January 1984, through the end of 1988, I saw no case of any significant coverage of me or mention of me, in the U.S. print media, particularly the major print media, the Associated Press, in particular, which was an active part of the prosecution, in fact, or in the national television media, network media especially; not a single mention of me which did not conform to the menu of libels concocted by this salon which had been established under John Train as part of this operation.
This salon, including the Anti-Defamation League, NBC-TV, others, the Associated Press, actively collaborated, beginning sometime in 1984, with forces inside the government which were determined to have a criminal prosecution against me and my associates. The criminal prosecution was launched at about the time of the 1984 presidential election, in October-November 1984. And from that point on, it was a continued escalation, until a Federal case in Boston led to a mistrial, occasioned largely by government misconduct in the case, in May of 1988.
Following that, on or about October 14 in Virginia, a new prosecution was opened up, and that led to my conviction in December of 1988, and my sentencing, for 15 years, in January 1989. I believe Mr. Anderson has described the nature of the case. And that resulted in five years of service in Federal prison, from which I'm now released on parole.
The motivations of the case against us, I think, are, in part, obvious, perhaps partly not.
In 1982-83, there were two things which greatly excited my enemies. Number one, I had been involved, in 1982, in presenting a proposal which was based on my forecast in the spring of 1982, that a major debt crisis would break out in South America, Central America, and the expectation that Mexico would be the nation that would have a debt crisis. I'd been involved with many of these countries and personalities in them, in projecting alternatives to this kind of inequitable system, where the "colonial nation" had been replaced by the term "debtor nation." And the debt of South America, Central America was largely illegitimate, that is, it was a debt which had not been incurred for value received, but had been done under special monetary conditions, under the so-called floating exchange rate system, where bankers would come to a country, the IMF in particular, would say, "We just wrote down the value of the currency; we're now going to re-fund your financing of your foreign debt, which you can no longer pay on the same basis as before."
So I proposed, that the debt crisis be used as the occasion for united action by a number of governments of South and Central American countries, to force a reform in the international debt relations, and to force a reform within international monetary relations. This report was entitled "Operation Juàrez," largely because of the relationship of President Lincoln to Mexico during the time that Lincoln was President, with the idea that it was in the interest of the United States to accept and sponsor such a reform, to assist these countries in the freedom to resume development of the type which they had desired.
This report was published in August of 1982, ironically a few weeks before the eruption of the great Mexico debt crisis of '82, and was presented also to the U.S. government and the National Security Council, for the President's information at that time. There was some effort, on the part of the President of Mexico, to implement my proposal in the initial period of the debt crisis. He had, at that time, some support from the President of Brazil and the government of Argentina. But under pressure from the United States, the government of Brazil and Argentina capitulated, and President José Lopez Portillo, the President of Mexico, was left, shall we say, "hanging out to dry."
As a result, in October of 1982, he capitulated to the terms which were delivered to his government and people around him, by people such as Henry A. Kissinger, who made a trip to Mexico at that time, to attempt to intimidate the Mexicans to submitting to these new terms. This was one issue between me and Kissinger, and his friends.
The second issue was, that sometime about December of 1981, a representative of the U.S. government approached me, and had asked me if I would be willing to set up an exploratory back-channel discussion with the Soviet government, because the Soviet government wanted, according to them, an additional channel to discuss things. And I said I didn't reject the idea, I said, but I have an idea on this question of nuclear missiles. It was becoming increasingly dangerous, forward-basing, more precise missiles, electromagnetic pulse, we're getting toward a first strike, it would be very useful to discuss what I proposed in my 1980 election campaign, with the Soviet government, to see if they'd be interested in discussing such a proposal. This might prove a profitable exploratory discussion.
And so, from February of 1982, through February of 1983, I did conduct such back-channel discussions with representatives of the Soviet government in Washington, D.C. Those were somewhat fruitful, but ultimately abortive. Kissinger and others became aware of this discussion, during the summer of 1982, and their circles were very much opposed to that. The general view was expressed, that I was getting "too big for my britches," and I had to be dealt with: on the question of debt, which some of these people were concerned about, and on this question of strategic missile defense, where I had this proposal, which the President adopted, at least initially, in the form of what became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. And when the Strategic Defense Initiative was announced by the President on March 23, 1983, there were a lot of people out for my scalp.
Those are the at least contributing factors, in what happened to me. But they may not be all. There probably are others, as well.
What I find significant, and have found significant in this case, is that the problem here, even though Kissinger may have been, largely, the author or the agent of the office in bringing about what I would characterize as my fraudulent indictment and conviction, the problem here is that, and I saw this, being in prison: People would come to me with their paperwork, and talk to me about their cases, prisoners, which made a stronger impression on me on this question.
We have, in my view, a system of injustice whose center is within the Department of Justice, especially the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The problem lies not with one administration or another, though one administration or another may act more positively or more negatively. You have permanent civil service employees, like Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jack Keeney and Mark Richard, who are coordinators of a nest of institutions in the Criminal Division, which show up repeatedly as leading or key associates of every legal atrocity which I've seen.
This is the case with the so-cFrühmenschen operation, which is largely an FBI operation, but which cannot run without the assistance and cooperation of these people. The Demjanjuk case, which is outstanding, of a man who, according to the Sixth Circuit, a man who the Justice Department knew to be innocent of the charges they were making against him at the time they made the charges; and yet, Mark Richard and Jack Keeney and so forth, proceeded with that case. An attempt to secure the execution of this man in Israel, over the objections of the Israeli government, for an OSI operation which was set into place by Henry Kissinger some years before. You have the Weaver case: the same thing. The much-celebrated Waco case: the same complex of injustice.
We have an out-of-control Justice Department, in my view, where the rot is not in the appointees, as much as it is in the permanent bureaucracy. We have a permanent sickness, in the permanent bureaucracy of part of our government.
In my case, when the time came that somebody wanted me out of the way, they were able to rely upon that permanent injustice in the permanent bureaucracy of government, to do the job. As in the Frühmenschen case, the Weaver case, the Waco case, the case of Waldheim, the case of Demjanjuk, and other cases. Always there's that agency inside the Justice Department, which works for contract, like a hitman, when somebody with the right credentials and passwords walks in, and says, "we want to get this group of people," or "we want to get this person."
My case may be, as Ramsey Clark described it, the most extensive and the highest level of these cases, in terms of the duration and scope of the operation. It came to involve the Soviet government, it came to involve the East German Stasi intelligence service, it involved collaboration between the Department of Justice and the Stasi in the case of Palme's murder. It involved direct collaboration with, as I said, the Soviet government.
The Soviet press, particularly from about, off and on, from Andropov, beginning 1984, and then when Gorbachov came in again, '85-'86, into '88; the Soviet press vilification of me, in collaboration with the same line as the U.S. press, exceeded that of anything, since Stalin's time, in the Soviet press, against any private individual, in history. And it was part of the same operation.
So my case is important, in the sense it's more extensive, it's more deep-going, long-going. But when it came to getting me, it was the same apparatus, that, I find, was used in these other cases. And until we remove, from our system of government, a rotten, permanent bureaucracy which acts like contract assassins, using the authority of the justice system to perpetrate assassination, this country is not free, nor is anyone in it.
My general impression, from being in prison and meeting these fellows; and I know these fellows, you know. You get in prison and you get my experience, you know the people you're with. Well, they're all perpetrators, most of them. A few cases are really innocent; framed up. But most of them were drug cases or something else, and you knew they were in the group of people they're accused of being in.
But when I saw the paperwork, I was astonished. I saw totally counterproductive sentences. I saw a shameful proceeding. Our Federal court system, our Federal criminal justice system is out of control. And it appears to me, that this nest around Mark Richard and Jack Keeney and others, in the permanent bureaucracy of the Justice Department, if they're not the heart of the problem, they're close enough to it, that if you pull out that cancer, you may find out where the next one is.
That's my view of the matter. Thank you.
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