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The Internationalist
February 2018

Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Central America, East Europe...

“Democratic Socialism” in the
Service of U.S. Imperialism

South Vietnamese police chief, Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, executes captured Viet Cong member, 1 February 1968. Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas was spokesman for “American Friends of Vietnam,” a CIA front group that acted as PR agents for the South Vietnamese dictatorship.  (Photo: Eddie Adams / AP)

By Abram Negrete

In “The Real Heritage of Harrington’s DSA,” we show where the reformist “democratic socialism” of 2018 came from, and what it actually stands for. Today’s Democratic Socialists of America hails the “tradition” of Michael Harrington and Norman Thomas, long-time leaders of the Socialist Party (SP) that gave rise to what is now the DSA. In that article (see p. x), we explain that this tradition has often, and accurately, been described as “State Department socialism.” Those unfamiliar with the left may think the term is a polemical excess or empty epithet. Not at all. In fact, intimate ties to the Department of State are only the beginning of the intertwining of the official social democrats with the agencies of U.S. imperialism. Activists who want to devote themselves to genuine socialism need to know what’s what. So here’s the story.

A brief rundown: In the 1950s, SP leader Norman Thomas headed the U.S. affiliate of one of the most notorious CIA fronts of all time: the Congress for Cultural Freedom. He also campaigned in support of the genocidal U.S. war on Korea waged by Democrat Harry Truman. Michael Harrington joined Thomas’ youth group in 1952 and the SP in 1960. In 1961, Thomas brain-truster and Harrington mentor Max Shachtman supported Democrat Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs invasion. As large numbers of young people radicalized under the impact of black freedom struggles and the Vietnam War, Harrington and Thomas demanded they exclude reds from their organizations and meetings. Organizers deemed soft on communism got locked out of their own offices. Other America author Harrington would fondly recall how in 1964 he was hobnobbing with members of Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet and White House staff. That same year the New York Times reported that an anti-communist institute headed by Norman Thomas was being funded by a “CIA conduit.”1

Throughout the ’60s, Harrington and Thomas lashed out against “pro-Communists” and “apologists for the Viet Cong,” opposing not only calls for victory to the heroic Vietnamese but even demands for U.S. withdrawal. When LBJ sent 42,000 Marines to occupy the Dominican Republic in 1965, Thomas – accompanied by Albert Shanker (then head of the United Federation of Teachers in New York and later of the national AFT), Bayard Rustin and other “democratic socialist” Cold War operatives – helped the Marines install a U.S. puppet regime there. It soon came out that Thomas had played a similar role in Vietnam.

In 1967, major media revelations led to a flood of details on how “Norman Thomas, the personification of social democracy in the United States,” had long “maintained ready access to top officials within the CIA,” among them not only his “trusted friend, Allen Dulles,” but also Cord Meyer of the “International Operations Division, the department handling the distribution of covert funding to front groups.”2

Anti-Soviet Cold Warriors: (from left) Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, Max Shachtman and CIA director Allen Dulles. Thomas worked closely with Dulles, chairing CIA front American Committee for Cultural Freedom and praising witch-hunting Senate McCarran Committee. Shachtman wrote propaganda leaflets for U.S.’ genocidal war on Korea that were air-dropped by the Air Force. 
(Photos [from left]: Library of Congress; The Donald Press; National Archives [Prologue Magazine])

Thomas died in 1968, with Harrington succeeding him as SP chairman. When, under the impact of the Viet Cong’s Tet offensive, sectors of the Democratic Party turned against the Vietnam war, Harrington brokered a compromise between “doves” and fanatical pro-war “hawks” within his own SP. Graduates of the Thomas-Harrington school went on to promote death-squad “democracy” in Central America and capitalist counterrevolution in East Europe. In countless cases, they became leading figures in infamous fronts for “The Company” (as insiders call the CIA) like the American Institute for Free Labor Development, Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy. As for the DSA, it continues to hail the imperialist-backed counterrevolution that destroyed the former Soviet bloc as “a critical gain for democracy.”

Documented details of these events are discussed below and elsewhere in this pamphlet. But the facts about Thomas, Harrington & Co. have been known for decades. So what does it mean, in 2018, for the DSA to lay claim to the “tradition” of Norman Thomas, of his State Department Socialist Party and of Michael Harrington, Thomas’ successor and, as the DSA proclaims, standard-bearer of that tradition? What does it mean to present their “democratic socialism” as the path that would-be opponents of capitalist oppression should follow? What it means will become clear as can be, as we examine the real record.

“Dear Norman” and the Congress for Cultural Freedom

In the 1950s, as Norman Thomas was deeply engaged in fighting “Soviet Communism” on behalf of “American democracy” abroad, on the home front he chaired an anti-communist group called the American Committee for Cultural Freedom. There was a public outcry when Thomas and the ACCF vociferously supported the witch-hunting Committee on Internal Security chaired by Senator Pat McCarran. Some liberals thought Thomas had gone too far. Harrington himself chided Thomas and the ACCF for this in 1955 – then helped lead Shachtman’s Independent Socialist League into red-baiter Thomas’ SP three years later.3

More than pen pals: “Dear Norman, ...
Faithfully yours,” Allen W. Dulles, Director, CIA. 

What Thomas stood for is exemplified by his role in the anti-communist “cultural freedom” campaign. His support to Sen. McCarran’s witch hunt was very public, but the SP leader’s services had a private dimension as well. The ACCF was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, and the fact that “Norman Thomas was a close friend and neighbor of [CIA chief] Allen Dulles” helped assure this, as a key study of CIA front operations points out.4 The ACCF was the American branch of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. When the ACCF faced a financial crunch in 1955, another study of documents of Agency operations showed, Thomas promised to “phone Allen” to get him to take care of the problem, which he did.5

This was far from an isolated instance. Examples of “Dear Allen” and “Dear Norman” correspondence between Company chief Dulles and “democratic socialist” icon Thomas are on line, including on the CIA website.6

How “Democratic Socialists” Helped Establish “South Vietnam”

Seeing the role of “democratic socialists” during the Vietnam War should revolt any young leftist who wants to take a stand against U.S. imperialism and its endless dirty wars. This is the background to the vituperation by SP leaders Thomas and Harrington against young radicals who dared show solidarity with the Vietnamese revolution by carrying the National Liberation Front (NLF, or “Viet Cong”) flag. The incredibly courageous combatants of the NLF, whose struggle inspired opponents of imperialism throughout the world, fought and won against the imperialists and their hand-picked dictators in “South Vietnam” – the U.S. puppet state Norman Thomas had literally helped set up in the ’50s.

In 1965, as Harrington and Thomas launched one diatribe after another against “explicit or covert” sympathy for the Viet Cong, the New York Times carried an article on “the American Friends of Vietnam, a private organization” that had “issued a statement announcing its support of the recent air strikes in North Vietnam and calling for a ‘stronger American action and involvement’.” The group, stated the Times, “was formed ... when the United States started a mission to help train the armed forces of South Vietnam.”7 American Friends of Vietnam (AFVN) was chaired by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John “Iron Mike” O’Daniel, who trained and equipped the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN).

The AFVN a “private organization”? Not hardly. For years, the AFVN and ARVN worked in tandem as cogs in the machine of U.S. imperialist domination. A few months after Harrington and Thomas reviled the first major march against the Vietnam war for encouraging Viet Cong “apologists,” a major exposé on the AFVN brought Thomas’ role to light. Titled “The Vietnam Lobby,” the July 1965 Ramparts magazine exposé detailed how generals, CIA spooks and “democratic socialists” had set up the AFVN in April 1955. It showed how the AFVN was instrumental in establishing the U.S. puppet regime in “South Vietnam” that year. And it showed how Norman Thomas helped found the AFVN, serving on its National Committee until 1958.

The “Vietnam Lobby” took shape after Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh decisively defeated the French colonialists at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. At the Geneva conference that year, the U.S. and France divided Vietnam in two. Seeking an illusory “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism, the Soviet and Chinese Stalinists pressured Ho to accept this, as the U.S. cynically promised that elections would soon be held throughout Vietnam. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department needed a dictator for the new puppet state in the south.

Edward Lansdale was the CIA’s man in Saigon, famously depicted in Graham Greene’s novel, The Quiet American. Lansdale was convinced that former French collaborator Ngo Dinh Diem would be a perfect figurehead for the new puppet state known as the Republic of Vietnam, or South Vietnam. Lansdale “convinced CIA Director Allen Dulles ... [who] talked to his brother, the Secretary of State” (John Foster Dulles). They in turn enrolled New York’s fanatically anti-communist Cardinal Spellman, as well as Joseph Kennedy, who got his son, Senator John F. Kennedy, on board.

Key to the organizational side was Leo Cherne, a leading Cold War liberal from Freedom House who headed the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC was founded by socialists in the 1930s to aid refugees from Nazi Germany, but by the 1950s it was so closely enmeshed with U.S. anti-Soviet operations that it functioned as an integral part of the CIA’s covert network. Wherever U.S. imperialism intervened (Vietnam in the 1950s and ’60s, Cuba in the ’60s, Laos in the ’70s, Afghanistan in the ’80s, Bosnia in the ’90s, Iraq in the 2000s, Syria today), the IRC was there to make sure the “right” refugees were rescued. Not coincidentally, as it were, the honorary chair of the IRC in the 1950s was William “Wild Bill” Donovan, who had led the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services, during World War II.8

Cherne made a trip to Vietnam in 1954 shortly after the Geneva accords divided the country. That September he sent his deputy, a social democrat of Austrian origin named Joseph Buttinger, to Vietnam. “Buttinger departed for Saigon as the Eisenhower administration took steps to safeguard and strengthen the Diem regime,” states a book on the Vietnam lobby.9 In Saigon, Lansdale took Buttinger “under his wing and introduced him to the top security people in Diem’s government and the [South] Vietnamese Army. This convinced Buttinger that Diem had the strength to remain in power, if only the United States would give him complete support,” Ramparts reported in 1967.

Returning to New York, Buttinger worked with a public relations man named Harold Oram to consolidate the operation. Oram had received a contract to represent the South Vietnam government for $3,000 a month (plus expenses).10 In April 1955, they established the American Friends of Vietnam. With Gen. O’Daniel as chairman, the AFVN decided to have an honorary chairman too, another general involved in U.S. efforts to take over from the French imperialists in the wake of Dien Bien Phu: “Wild Bill” Donovan. At the same time, Buttinger and his wife were subsidizing the social-democratic magazine Dissent edited by Irving Howe, a veteran of Shachtman’s Workers Party and a leader of his International Socialist League who went on to co-found the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee with Harrington, and then became a vice-chair of the DSA.

Interlocking directorates. Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan (left), head of the WWII OSS, forerunner of the CIA, was honorary chairman of International Rescue Committee, a CIA front. IRC was headed for 40 years by Leo Cherne (center), later a top official of presidential boards supervising U.S. spy agencies. Social democrat Joseph Buttinger (right) was top IRC executive while funding Dissent, edited by Irving Howe, later a DSA leader. Donovan was also honorary chairman of “American Friends of Vietnam,” another CIA front that included SP leader Norman Thomas.
(Photos, from left: National Archive; State University of New York Press; Douglas Pike Collection/Vietnam Center and Archive.)

A biography of Donovan, “the spymaster who created ... modern American espionage,” states that after “push[ing] for propaganda and covert operations to keep Ho [Chi Minh] from taking over” in the wake of Dien Bien Phu, he lobbied Thailand’s secret police chief to aid South Vietnam, “pressed the CIA station chief in Bangkok to step up supply flights into Vietnam,” “and plugged Diem with lawmakers ... and in letters to Eisenhower.” The Donovan bio goes on: “Back in Washington he joined Iron Mike O’Daniel ... in forming American Friends of Vietnam,” which “became a propaganda organ for Diem,” who “turned out [sic] to be a corrupt, nepotistic dictator who was eventually assassinated in a 1963 coup given the green light by the administration of John F. Kennedy.”11

To be effective, an outfit like the AFVN didn’t need just a couple of generals as chairman and honorary chairman. And if its public face was the CIA’s godfather, a couple of wheeler-dealer Company friends plus a paid PR man, that could be a problem. It needed a National Committee. One was promptly assembled, featuring Democratic senators Kennedy and Mike Mansfield, Supreme Court justice William Douglas and other Cold War liberals plus a representative of Cardinal Spellman. A couple of right-wing social democrats from The New Leader magazine were brought into the mix, but: “A far more prominent figure who joined the AFVN was Norman Thomas, the leader of the American Socialist Party.”12

Thomas to Diem: “A Privilege to Serve You”

On AFVN letterhead featuring Thomas as a National Committee member, Gen. O’Daniel described the group as a “clearinghouse” for “groups seeking U.S. assistance” in Vietnam by referring “specific requests to sources of support.”13 With Thomas on board, the AFVN focused “most of its initial work” on an effort to convince U.S. public opinion and the Eisenhower administration “that the future of Diem’s government should not be jeopardized by an agreement to hold the all-Vietnam elections for which the Geneva accords had called.” Eisenhower himself had said Ho Chi Minh would get about “80 percent” of the vote if the elections were held. While selling “South Vietnam” as a bulwark of “democracy” against the red menace, the AFVN lobbied intensively against the “threat posed by Communist demands for holding all-Vietnamese elections.”14

“Indeed, one of the organization’s earliest actions was to circulate a letter, drafted by Oram and signed by distinguished socialist Norman Thomas, defending Diem’s decision not to hold elections mandated for 1956 by the Geneva Accords,” historian Hugh Wilford relates in his study of CIA fronts, The Mighty Wurlitzer. Another carefully documented account, Eric Chester’s Covert Network, provides further details on how Oram and the AFVN used “Norman Thomas, the personification of social democracy in the United States and a celebrity of world renown,” in its work of “manipulating the media” in support of the Diem dictatorship. In October 1955, Diem staged a “plebiscite” to bolster his regime, which the AFVN hailed as “momentous free elections.”

“Soon after the phony plebiscite, Oram urged Thomas to sign a public letter citing [it] as evidence of Diem’s popular standing. Oram held that Saigon had been justified in refusing to permit the scheduled nationwide elections, since the Viet Minh would ‘certainly win in an election taking place in the near future.’ A statement from Thomas would ‘do much to influence intellectual opinion in certain key countries, especially Britain, Burma, India, and Ceylon.’
“Oram enclosed a draft of the proposed letter, which Thomas then signed, after having ‘made no change.’ The letter, which was then sent to influential newspapers in Europe and Asia, claimed that the overwhelming vote for Diem in the rigged plebiscite represented ‘a legal and moral mandate from the people.’ The letter signed by Thomas concluded that holding a single election in both parts of Vietnam, in accordance with the Geneva agreements, could ‘only be regarded as ... contrary to the will of the South Vietnamese people.’”
Lyndon B. Johnson, then U.S. vice president, with puppet South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in May 1961. SP leader Thomas validated phony “election” of Diem, writing to the South Vietnamese dictator that it was “a privilege to serve you.” When Diem ceased to be useful because of massive protests against his brutal dictatorship, President John F. Kennedy okayed his assassination. 
(Photo: National Archives/LBJ Library)

Following up in early 1957, Norman Thomas wrote to Diem that he “held it a privilege to serve you and your country in your struggle for independence [sic] against the old colonial imperialism” (that is, France, whose place had been taken by the U.S. imperialists Thomas served so loyally) “and the new communist totalitarianism.”15

The effort to entrench the U.S. puppet regime was initially successful. Over the next years, the AFVN focused on promoting the regime of Diem and (after he was “terminated” with JFK’s blessing) his successors. Faced with a growing insurgency, the U.S. built up its military force of “advisors,” setting the stage for the massive, genocidal escalation of the U.S. war in 1964 under LBJ and his defense secretary Robert McNamara.

Those new to the left often ask: Why do different kinds of “socialists” fight among themselves? The sordid story of the Vietnam Lobby gives an idea of why pious wishes for “unity” can never overcome the gulf between revolutionary Marxism and the State Department or CIA “socialism” that prefers to don the cover of “democratic socialism.” In the Vietnam War, the Trotskyists fought for military victory to the NLF, proclaiming “All Indochina Must Go Communist!” It was a question of which side are you on, and the forebears of the DSA were not only firmly on the side of imperialism, they did a lot of the U.S.’ dirty work, both in Vietnam and on the home front.

The Company Connection

“It was necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.” This was the reality of the imperialist war on Vietnam. Above: U.S. soldier as village is burned down. Social democrats fronted for CIA operations backing South Vietnam puppet regime. Trotskyists proclaimed, “All Indochina Must Go Communist!”   (Photo: Robert Hodierne)

The activities of Norman Thomas prepared the way for innumerable “young socialists” trained in the Thomas tradition to become functionaries of the most sinister U.S. agencies over the following decades. The subsequent careers of countless figures trained as anti-communist operatives in the Thomas-Harrington school of “democratic socialism” were no bolt from the blue. As for knowing that Harrington’s “friend and mentor” Thomas was being financed by The Company, and was carrying out major operations for it – that was in black and white and read all over, in the pages of the New York Times.

Already in 1964, the Times ran its report (mentioned above) on a CIA conduit funding an institute headed by Norman Thomas. The Company had used the J.M. Kaplan Fund to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institute, which conducted “educational research in undeveloped countries,” including a center in the Dominican Republic that also received funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Times article also drew attention to the institute’s administrator, a Rumanian exile named Sacha Volman, “a man who has long been identified with anti-Communist causes in Europe and America.”16

In a letter to the Times, Norman Thomas responded to the “conjecture” that “the C.I.A. might have channeled money through the Kaplan Fund for work done in the Dominican Republic by the International Institute of Labor Research, of which I am chairman.” “If so,” he claimed, “it was without the knowledge or suspicion of any of our board.” Dulles crony Thomas reiterated that he “found the conjecture surprising,” then went on to praise “our very able director, Sacha Volman, a man with creative ideas in whom I have the highest confidence.”17

Three years later, with mounting anger over Vietnam, LBJ’s endless lies, and police repression, even mainstream reporters were digging into the Company’s dirty tricks. The topic of CIA fronts and funding blew up – and hit the pages of the newspaper of the Thomas-Harrington SP. Together with denunciations of “supporters of a Vietcong military victory” and Norman Thomas’ “My Anti-Communism” column, New America (22 March 1967) ran an article titled “Student Group Faces CIA Created Dilemma.” It bemoaned the fallout from the “scandal over CIA influence” in the National Student Association, which had broken the previous month and kept on spreading.

The scandal erupted with extensive press reports exposing how the CIA channeled funds to the National Student Association and used the NSA for U.S. foreign-policy objectives. This included “grooming” student leaders in the NSA international affairs division, which fronted for anti-communist operations from West Europe to Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. (The NSA president even traveled to Vietnam on the State Department’s tab.) It also included setting up the Independent Service for Information, “a CIA operation from beginning to end,” as The Mighty Wurlitzer describes it. Bobby Kennedy had a hand in the ISI when he was JFK’s attorney general. Moreover, one of its operatives was Zbigniew Brzezinski, the JFK and LBJ advisor who later became Jimmy Carter’s hardline anti-Soviet National Security Advisor. Most famously, the ISI was headed up by future feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Wilford notes: “Among the many individuals named in [the] revelations, Steinem was one of the most forthright in acknowledging her wittingness” in the CIA front operation, while arguing that her motivations had been legit since there were “some liberals” in the CIA.18

The March 1967 New America article complained that the scandal had led to suspicions being raised against “a number of organizations and individuals who have in fact had no demonstrable or witting relations with the CIA.” The article’s author is described as a member of the Young People’s Socialist League’s delegation to a recent meeting of the United States Youth Council, an umbrella group that included YPSL (the SP’s youth group), the Young Democrats and Young Republicans, the NSA, YMCA and other organizations. “CIA influence in the Youth Council was high on the agenda” at that meeting, the article stated, noting that accusations were made that Agency funds had been channeled to it via the NSA. Denouncing “hearsay” and “scandal-mongering,” it reported that a resolution “drawn up by Penn Kemble, YPSL National Chairman, and also National Affairs Vice President of the USYC,” was passed, calling for a “review” of the matter.

In fact, as the New York Times (16 February 1967) had reported, 90% of the funding for the Youth Council came from the CIA. Most worrisome for the SP and YPSL were the media exposés shining a spotlight on CIA funding for their venerated leader, Norman Thomas, and particularly his efforts to combat communism in Latin America through “democratic leftism.” Far from hearsay or empty scandal-mongering, they were based on solidly documented facts, reported by a wide range of media including Ramparts, the Times and the Washington Post. A March 1967 CBS News special was titled “In the Pay of the CIA: An American Dilemma.”19

Unlike Gloria Steinem, Thomas pled ignorance, again. He presented his brief in lawyerly lingo: if not sheer coincidence, then a mere overlap of good works and intentions lay behind collaboration with the CIA, receipt of monies therefrom being entirely unwitting on the beneficiaries’ end. In New America, Thomas wrote that while “most of the organizations, and their projects, supported by the CIA, were legitimate and valuable,” what “was most wrong, was that the CIA secretly dispensed these funds and duped a number of worthy organizations....” Michael Harrington’s co-leader of “democratic socialism” went on to aver: “I speak feelingly because I was the chairman of the Institute for International Labor Research, which received very considerable funds from the CIA through the conduit of the J.M. Kaplan Fund – which, in general, has done very good work with its money.”20

“Thomas Defends C.I.A.-Aided Work”

Thomas sang a similar tune in an interview with the New York Times titled “Thomas Defends C.I.A.-Aided Work.” The “Socialist Party leader ... defended a program under which Latin-American politicians of the democratic left were trained largely at the expense of the Central Intelligence Agency,” the Times stated,21 digging deeper into the story it had broached in 1964. From 1957 to 1965, it continued, “Mr. Thomas was chairman of the Institute of International Labor Research,” which ran a school in Costa Rica where – among other things – former president José Figueres and Dominican politician Juan Bosch served on the faculty. The school moved to the Dominican Republic when Bosch was elected president.

The article continued: “J.M. Kaplan, former president of the Welch Grape Juice Company, disclosed last week that the foundation bearing his name had channeled about $1 million in C.I.A. funds to the Institute.” Yet Thomas told the Times: “I’m not ashamed of what we did.... What we did was good work.” He said that “he had ‘heard rumors’ that the money came from the C.I.A., but ‘they were always denied...’.”

The CIA calls this sort of calculated misdirection “plausible denial,” but the plausibility was paper thin. One would have to be a willful idiot to believe Thomas’ pious protestations. As we’ve seen, Thomas had been instrumental in getting his friend CIA chief Allen Dulles to continue funding the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, and was up to his neck in the CIA front American Friends of Vietnam. As histories of CIA front operations point out, Thomas’ “Institute focused on CIA projects in Latin America,” which meant doing work similar to that of another “institute” aimed against real labor and leftist organizers in Latin America: the American Institute for Free Labor Development.22

The AIFLD was a joint venture of “The Company” and the AFL-CIO tops, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (as well as the National Endowment for Democracy after the Reagan administration established the NED in 1983). It helped overthrow Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Cheddi Jagan in Guyana in 1964 and Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, and was key to building and backing death squads that terrorized Central America in the 1980s. Like Thomas’ institute, the AIFLD’s roots went back to the U.S. government’s post-WWII partnership with anti-communist labor officials to purge reds from unions in the U.S. and overseas. Another partner was Victor Reuther of the United Auto Workers. Media exposés on Thomas et al. revealed that Reuther had been a conduit of CIA funds to pro-U.S. unions in Europe after WWII.23

While the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover was notorious for its right-wing ties, the CIA had a predilection for anti-communist social democrats and liberals. During the Cold War, they all worked together to purge the “reds,” in the U.S. and abroad. The most notorious operative in these efforts was Jay Lovestone, who had led the purge of Trotskyists from the Communist Party in 1928 before being purged himself as a supporter of Bukharin’s Right Opposition. Lovestone went on to work closely with the CIA as leader of the U.S. labor tops’ anti-communist international operations, seconded by Irving Brown (see below) and Charles Zimmerman. As discussed in “The Real Heritage of Michael Harrington,” in 1972 Zimmerman, long-standing SP chair Harrington and Bayard Rustin became SP co-chairmen.

Dominican Republic: “Democratic Socialists” Help Install Balaguer

U.S. Army Airborne troops patrolling Santo Domingo after 1965 invasion. Thomas’ committee lent cover for 1966 rigged election under U.S. occupation. 

Norman Thomas’ Dominican connection, as well as his long-standing ties with Victor Reuther, were called into service again after Lyndon Johnson sent the U.S. Marines to occupy the Dominican Republic in 1965. LBJ claimed the bloody imperialist intervention was necessary to “contain Communism” and prevent the rise of “another Cuba” in the Caribbean even as U.S. imperialist forces rained death on Southeast Asia in their attempt to prevent an NLF victory.

Juan Bosch had been elected president of the Dominican Republic in 1962, after the assassination of long-time dictator Rafael Trujillo, but Bosch was soon overthrown by the military. Fearing that leftist forces would win the civil war that broke out in 1965, LBJ sent in 42,000 U.S. troops. The imperialists were backed by the puppet Organization of American States – “the Yankee Ministry of Colonies,” as Che Guevara called it. Occupation forces, cynically dubbed “peacekeepers,” remained until September 1966.

In May 1966, the U.S. staged elections to install its chosen puppet, Joaquín Balaguer. Balaguer had served as Trujillo’s right-hand man for decades, all the way back to the massacre of Haitians in 1937, when he was the dictator’s foreign minister. Given this history and the fact that elections were being held under the imperialist occupation, Thomas, Reuther and Rustin were tapped to provide some “democratic socialist” cover. With key assistance from Sacha Volman and Americans for Democratic Action operative Allard Lowenstein, Thomas put together the Committee on Free Elections in the Dominican Republic. His prior association with Bosch helped lend credibility to the “op.”

Balaguer’s U.S.-backed party “won the elections with the support of Trujilloist army officers, who sponsored a terrorist campaign” in which at least 350 opposition political activists were killed just in the five months preceding the May 1966 vote, states the main English-language history of the Dominican Republic. As for Thomas’ Committee on Free Elections, Mighty Wurlitzer author Wilford writes: it was “a CIA-inspired effort to lend international credibility to a 1966 ballot effectively rigged against...former president Juan Bosch, with Thomas reprising the role he had performed in Vietnam in 1956 by declaring the elections fair before the results had been announced.”24

Enter Albert Shanker. A pamphlet from the Albert Shanker Institute states that his “first formal trip abroad as president of the United Federation of Teachers was ... to the Dominican Republic in May 1966,” where he was part of the Commission of Thomas, Volman, Reuther, Lowenstein & Co. “Staffed by Penn Kemble,” the pamphlet continues, “the Commission operated out of the offices of ... one of several democratic socialist organizations Shanker was associated with.”25 Get the picture?

And Lowenstein? A close associate of Bobby Kennedy, he was a former National Student Association president deeply implicated in the CIA funds scandal. His biographer William Chase reports that in the Dominican Republic, Lowenstein had another Commission staffer contact a “former FBI employee” and “a Bay of Pigs veteran who had been a trainer at the institute ... where Bosch taught.” That same year, Lowenstein ran for Congress, endorsed by Norman Thomas and “democratic socialist leader Michael Harrington,” who wrote in praise of Lowenstein’s “devotion” to just causes.26

Norman Thomas’ Committee on Free Elections helped establish a pattern that the U.S. imperialists employed in one country after another. “Sponsored by the Johnson administration and its organizational affiliates such as the CIA,” it exemplified public-relations techniques used in what came to be called “demonstration elections”: that is, supposed “free elections” staged by the U.S. to legitimize murderous puppet regimes. The year after the 1966 Dominican vote, another “classic demonstration election was held under U.S. auspices in South Vietnam” to bolster the regime of Diem’s successors, General Thieu and Marshal Ky. (Ky was famous for calling Adolf Hitler his hero and declaring, “We need four or five Hitlers in Vietnam.”) In El Salvador, the U.S -staged election of 1982 provided cover for mass murder in Reagan’s drive to exterminate workers, peasants and youth fighting against the death-squad regime.27

Made in U.S.A. with the aid of “democratic socialists,” the 1966 Dominican Republic vote had a long-lasting impact on Haitians as well as Dominicans. Joaquín Balaguer ruled through rampant corruption and terror, using a police death squad, the “Banda Colorá,” to gun down communists. Both as Trujillo’s henchman and as president for most of the 30 years after the 1965-66 occupation, Balaguer was the key ideologue and architect of anti-Haitian persecution in the Dominican Republic, a bloody legacy that continues to this day.

From YPSL to “AFL-CIA,” USIA, NED...

A crucial role throughout this history was played by the “young democratic socialists” of yesteryear. To understand U.S. social democracy, just ask: What became of them? The short answer is that having been trained as professional anti-communists, they ended up as key operatives for the anti-communist “AFL-CIA” labor officialdom, spearheading U.S. skullduggery in Cold War II, fronting for Contra terrorists and death squad regimes in Central America and funneling U.S. dollars to anti-Soviet Solidarność in  Poland, founding endless front groups for CIA ops and serving as top officials in the U.S. government’s international operations, both under Republican Reagan and Democrat Clinton. Some went with Michael Harrington’s Democratic Socialists, some with Bayard Rustin’s Social Democrats. But they all ended up as part of the U.S. imperialist machine, and they all got their training as State Department (or CIA) socialists in the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas, Max Shachtman and Michael Harrington.

In 2006, former Young People’s Socialist League chairman Joshua Muravchik told the story in a nostalgic piece in neocon flagship Commentary. When YPSL broke up in ’64 with the departure of its left wing, this “cleared a path for our rump of right-wingers to re-create the YPSL according to our own rights.” The “moving force for this was a triumvirate” of Penn Kemble, Tom Kahn and Paul Feldman (to whom Harrington passed the editorship of New America around the same time). The three were nominated to the Socialist Party’s National Committee in 1966, together with fellow “yipsels” like Charlotte Kemble, Rachelle Horowitz and Sandra Feldman.

A glance at “YPSL In Action” pages in New America shows that by 1969, under Michael Harrington’s chairmanship of the Socialist Party, Josh Muravchik had taken over from Penn Kemble as national chairman of the SP youth group; Charlotte Kemble (later Charlotte Roe) was now YPSL national secretary; a fellow named Max Green was the page’s co-editor, with Tom Milstein and Penn Kemble’s sister Eugenia listed under “Editorial Board.”28

Around the same time, Penn Kemble headed up a group called Frontlash to work on voter registration with the AFL-CIO. (The name was taken from LBJ’s election strategy to defeat Barry Goldwater’s appeal to a white backlash against civil rights in 1964.) Charlotte Kemble later became its executive director. Funded by the labor tops, Frontlash had close relations with New York teachers union leader Shanker. One of its organizers was David Jessup, formerly of the Bay Area YSPL. An old Peace Corps associate of Jessup’s named David Dorn became Frontlash representative to the U.S. Youth Council and a Shanker rep at international “free trade union” events, reporting back to Shanker “about different trainings and conferences in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” Penn Kemble’s sister Eugenia also became an assistant to Shanker, helping “coordinate international activities,” as the Shanker Institute pamphlet puts it.29

From YPSL to...

Careers in Counterrevolution

Penn Kemble: YPSL national chairman, SP national committee, 1966; executive secretary, SP, 1968-70; together with Harrington and Shachtman, founded SP front Negotiations Now, 1967; founder, AFL-CIO electoral group Frontlash, 1968; SP national committee, 1972; founder, Coalition for a Democratic Majority (opposing McGovern), 1972; president, Committee for Democracy in Central America, 1981-88, supporting Nicaraguan Contras and death-squad regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala; deputy director (1993), later acting director (1999), U.S. Information Agency under Democrat Clinton; Board of International Broadcasting under Republican Bush, 2001; later, Washington representative of CIA front Freedom House.

Tom Kahn: head of League for Industrial Democracy; SP national committee, 1972; presidential primary campaign of “Senator from Boeing” Henry Jackson, 1972; permanent position, AFL-CIO, where he coordinated support for Solidarność counterrevolutionary drive in Poland; director, International Affairs Department, AFL-CIO, 1986-92.

Charlotte Kemble (later Roe): YPSL, SP national committee, 1966; YPSL national secretary; executive director, Frontlash; State Department political officer, labor attaché, labor advisor and liaison to CIA front AIFLD, etc. in various posts.  

Rachelle Horowitz: YPSL, SP national committee, 1966; SP national committee, 1972; head of political department, American Federation of Teachers, appointed by hard-line Cold Warrior Albert Shanker, from 1985; later leader of Democratic Party National Committee.

Sandra Feldman: YPSL, SP national committee, 1966; lieutenant to Shanker and executive director, United Federation of Teachers, 1966-75; president, UFT, 1985-97 (also vice president, New York state AFL-CIO); president, AFT, 1997-2005.

Max Green: co-editor, “YPSL In Action” page of New America, 1969; later Reagan liaison to Jewish community.

Joshua Muravchik: YPSL national chairman, SP national committee, 1968-73; SP national committee, 1972; aide to Sen. Henry Jackson in presidential primary campaign, 1976; executive director, Coalition for a Democratic Majority, 1977-79; later executive committee, Freedom House; prominent neocon, writing in Commentary.

Eugenia Kemble: editorial board, “YPSL In Action” page of New America, 1969; later head of education issues department of AFT, appointed by Shanker.

David Jessup: Bay Area YSPL; organizer, Frontlash; point man for AFL-CIO anti-communist operations in Central America.

Carl Gershman: YPSL national chairman, SP national committee, 1972; executive director, SDUSA, 1975-80; chief counselor to U.N. representative Jeane Kirkpatrick (also former YPSL) in the first Reagan administration, 1981-84; president, National Endowment for Democracy (1984-present), named by Reagan.

As of 1972 the SP’s National Committee included Paul Feldman, Rachelle Horowitz, Tom Kahn, Penn Kemble, Josh Muravchik, one Carl Gershman, and others (including Harrington, of course). Gershman had become YPSL national chairman, figuring prominently in an article titled “Young Socialists Defeat Motion Favoring Recognition of Cuba” in the New York Times (28 December 1972). The article quoted YPSL leaders’ self-description as “‘rebels against appeasement’ of any form of communism,” including U.S. diplomatic recognition of Cuba. The article also took note of how the SP/YPSL was divided between leaders closely linked to the AFL-CIO tops, who had back-handedly supported Nixon in the ’72 elections, and a minority that supported the liberal Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern. This foreshadowed the following year’s split of Shachtman-trained forces into Social Democrats, USA (eventually headed by Gershman) and the followers of Michael Harrington, who formed the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and then the DSA. (See “The Real Heritage of Harrington’s DSA.”)

And the roster of Muravchik’s YPSL “comrades”? His 2006 reminiscence proudly lays it out. Having served U.S. imperialism through the medium of State Department “democratic socialism,” they cut out the middleman. Tom Kahn joined the presidential campaign of Senator “Scoop” Jackson (known as the Senator from Boeing for his ties with military contractors) in 1972; George Meany’s lieutenant Lane Kirkland then “gave him a permanent position at the AFL-CIO as, in effect, the house intellectual.” Penn Kemble “carved out a distinct place for himself in American politics, culminating in a stint as deputy director and then as acting director of the U.S. Information Agency under President Clinton. Through it all, he never ceased inventing new organizations....”

Muravchik continues:

“Others in our old socialist group made meaningful careers as well. Tom Kahn’s stature at the AFL-CIO rose as Lane Kirkland succeeded Meany.... Tom became chief of labor’s foreign-policy programs, and in that capacity he orchestrated labor’s support for Solidarity in Poland. Rachelle Horowitz ... became a leader of the Democratic National Committee. I found my niche writing essays and books. Arch Puddington, at Freedom House, did much the same. Carl Gershman, who succeeded me as YPSL leader as I had succeeded Penn, became president of the National Endowment for Democracy.... Max Green was President Reagan’s liaison to the American Jewish community [etc.]....”30

The U.S. Information Agency, Freedom House, the AFL-CIO foreign affairs department, etc., are notorious partners, promoters and fronts for CIA “dirty tricks” around the world. As for the National Endowment for Democracy, for three decades it has provided overt cover for covert Company operations, from Miami’s anti-Castro “gusanos” to Central America to Venezuela to U.S.-orchestrated “color revolutions” in East Europe. Major funding for Venezuelan “opposition” groups is also provided by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a project of the German SPD (Social Democratic Party). It is named after one of the patriotic “socialists” who ordered the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919. As in 1919, the SPD is a bulwark of the Socialist International.

As for the SDUSA, the Central America connection was a key nexus for these YPSL grads. Muravchik’s article proudly cites the fact that former Bay Area YPSL member David Jessup “became the point man for the quite substantial efforts by organized labor under Kirkland to resist Communism in Central America.” What that meant was “AFL-CIA” leaders promoting Reagan’s Contra cutthroats in Nicaragua, death squads in El Salvador and the U.S.-armed dictatorship in Guatemala which waged a genocidal counterinsurgency war against indigenous Maya peoples.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Roe (formerly Kemble) filled a series of “diplomatic” posts for the State Department starting in the 1980s, including “Political/Labor Officer” in Bolivia, where she helped reopen an office for the AIFLD. She went on to serve as “Political Officer” in Chile; “Labor Attaché” in Israel; “Deputy Political Counselor” in Colombia (again liaising with local AIFLD projects); “Environmental and Science Attaché” in Hungary; then “Political Counselor” at the Organization of American States, “State Department, Senior Labor Advisor, Western Hemisphere,” etc.31

The DSA of 2018 would doubtless prefer that its young recruits be unaware of what became of their predecessor “young democratic socialists.” In the event that they do, it would doubtless argue that it has nothing to do with the neocons of SDUSA. But as Friedrich Engels liked to say, facts are stubborn things. The fact is that these former “yipsels” were intensively trained in the Shachtman-Harrington-Thomas school of “democratic socialism” over an entire period in which Harrington worked hand-in-glove with them denouncing reds and “Viet Cong apologists,” while one revelation after another of Thomas’ Company connections spilled forth. In 1972-73 they had their falling-out over which government party to serve: Democrats or Republicans. Harrington chose the former – the SDUSA crew the latter. Their training served them well, as they graduated from fronting for the U.S. imperialist elite to “carving out a place for themselves” as part of it.

The Wages of Shankerism

Social Democrat Al Shanker, UFT and later AFT president, was linchpin in funneling CIA aid to counterrevolutionary Polish Solidarność. 
(Photo: William E. Sauro / The New York Times)

Al Shanker, who led the New York City United Federation of Teachers (UFT) for two decades starting in 1964 and headed the national American Federation of Teachers (AFT) from 1979, was another YPSL graduate, joining the SP youth group in the late 1940s. He was closely tied to the Shachtmanites in particular, and to the SDUSA after the 1973 split: Yetta Barsh Shachtman, Max’s wife, was Shanker’s long-time administrative assistant. Shanker was succeeded as UFT president by Sandra Feldman, the former YPSL and SP national committee member, who also took over the AFT upon his death in 1997. Under Shanker, the UFT and AFT served as key links in the CIA’s worldwide anti-Soviet and anti-communist campaign of subverting left-led unions.

Today, the Albert Shanker Institute trumpets Shanker’s role backing Lech Walesa’s Solidarność, touching off the “domino effect” that brought “the end of communism” throughout the former Soviet bloc.32 Under Walesa, workers strikes at the Gdansk shipyards – voicing frustration with the Polish Stalinist government’s broken promises and concessions to IMF austerity – were exploited to consolidate Solidarność as a counterrevolutionary political movement. Directly aligned with Reagan and British Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, it enrolled thousands of right-wing nationalist activists and priests, together with millions of well-to-do peasants, to spearhead the drive for capitalist counterrevolution throughout the Soviet bloc.

As Solidarność prepared a bid for power, Walesa invited the AFL-CIO’s Lane Kirkland and Irving Brown to Poland. As the Shanker Institute relates:

“More than $75,000 was raised [for Solidarność] by Frontlash ... [and] a coalition of youth groups established by the Young Social Democrats.... In late September 1981, Solidarity wanted to launch an information office in New York around its First Congress. Tom Kahn asked Shanker to provide help. Shanker provided office space, a large financial contribution, and the union’s press office and expertise.”33

But this was mere chicken feed. The CIA reportedly funneled at least $10 million in covert funds to Solidarność, channeled through “third parties” (like U.S. and European unions led by social democrats), plus another $10 million from the NED. Millions more were provided by the Vatican Bank, West German social democrats and other funders

In September ’81, Solidarność opened a U.S. office in the New York headquarters of Shanker’s union. Bayard Rustin of the A. Philip Randolph Institute joined other old comrades of Shachtman and Harrington on the platform. Outside, supporters of the then-Trotskyist Spartacist League protested with placards reading “No Rollback! No Capitalist Restoration in Eastern Europe,” “Reagan Smashes PATCO, Loves Solidarność,” “Social Democrats and the AFL-CIO Front for the CIA in Poland, Too,” “Don’t Sell Poland to the German Bankers,” and other slogans. An important theme was upholding the revolutionary internationalist legacy of Rosa Luxemburg against that of Josef Pilsudski, the anti-communist dictator whose image appeared on Solidarność posters.

In response, the virulent labor-haters of the Wall Street Journal (29 September 1981) published an editorial titled “Communists and the AFL-CIO,” praising “American labor’s support for Solidarity,” and ominously warning: “Anyone seeking to delegitimize its performance in this realm should be aware of just how serious an attack he is launching” and “should not be allowed to do so easily.”34 Given the “AFL-CIA’s” close ties to the top levels of the U.S. government, this was an ominous threat. Wall Street was jubilant when Solidarność eventually succeeded in bringing capitalist counterrevolution to Poland. But for Polish workers it meant mass impoverishment and layoffs, including the closing of the Gdansk shipyards, and an all-out clerical-nationalist assault on the rights of women, abolishing the right to abortion.

The Shanker Institute pamphlet also devotes many pages to Shanker’s activities with Bayard Rustin et al. in the U.S. propaganda campaign to “Save Soviet Jewry,” which was ratcheted up in the 1970s following Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank. Many of the former Soviet Jews the campaign helped send to Israel became settler shock troops there.

Revolution or Counterrevolution

Though Muravchik doesn’t mention Jeane Kirkpatrick in his reminiscence, she too was a YPSL grad, albeit of earlier vintage. Like Shachtman protégé Irving Kristol, Kirkpatrick was one of the most prominent pioneers of the reactionary backlash movement known as “neoconservatism.” Ronald Reagan appointed her his ambassador to the United Nations, where her chief counselor was Carl Gershman.

Among her other murderous tasks, Kirkpatrick was point person for the counterinsurgency wars that devastated Central America in the 1980s. Muravchik and Penn Kemble were among the most vocal supporters of this imperialist-sponsored mass murder. Both were signers of a full-page ad backing the Nicaraguan Contras in the New York Times (16 March 1986), titled “We Support Military Assistance to the Nicaraguans Fighting for Democracy.” Muravchik also penned such Times op eds as “Endowing Democracy” (18 June 1984) and “Topple the Sandinistas” (3 March 1985).

With Reagan in the presidency and former SP/YPSL colleagues serving as his minions, DSA founders Michael Harrington and Irving Howe (editor of Dissent) worked to rally the wing of American social democracy that wanted to stick with the Democrats through thick and thin. Interviewed together with Howe by the New York Times Magazine (17 June 1984), Harrington insisted that “by now practically everyone on the left agrees that the Democratic Party, with all its flaws, must be our main political arena.”

In the same interview, Harrington underlined his loyalty to the patriotic premises of social-  democratic politics: “When I criticize American foreign policy, our intervention in Central America ... I do that in the name of the national security of the United States.... Our critique is that President Reagan’s policy with regard to Nicaragua does not promote the national security, it hurts it.” Howe chimed in: “And you speak of the national security because you recognize that there is a totalitarian enemy out there which needs to be met.”

Norman Thomas’ crusade for imperialist “democracy” against the Soviet “totalitarian enemy” was the common heritage of both wings of U.S. social democracy as the anti-Soviet drive escalated by Carter was pushed to the max by Reagan and George H.W. Bush. After Harrington’s death in 1989, the DSA carried on the tradition, hailing the wave of capitalist restoration that spread from Poland and the DDR (East Germany) to the USSR itself, bringing social devastation and nationalist blood-letting in its wake. Today, the DSA continues to celebrate “the collapse of communism,” calling this counterrevolution “a critical gain for democracy.”35

From ordering the murder of communists and championing invasion of Soviet Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution to promoting counterrevolution against the Soviet Union from the 1950s to the 1990s, the social democrats were always front men and women for imperialism. Do new members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America today want to become professional anti-communists, cogs in the machinery of imperialist domination, like those who went before them? The Revolutionary Internationalist Youth, youth section of the Internationalist Group, U.S. section of the League for the Fourth International, seeks instead to develop professional revolutionaries, fighting for the liberating communism of Lenin, Luxemburg and Trotsky.

Revolution or counterrevolution: it’s a clear, class choice. So which side are you on?  ■

  1. 1. “Kaplan Fund, Cited as C.I.A. ‘Conduit,’ Lists Unexplained $395,000 Grant,” New York Times, 3 September 1964.
  2. 2. Eric Thomas Chester, Covert Network: Progressives, the International Rescue Committee, and the CIA (M.E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 5, 115-116.
  3. 3. The merger of the Shachtman-Harrington ISL and Thomas’ SP is discussed in “The Real Heritage of Harrington’s DSA.” Harrington reprinted his 1955 article on the ACCF decades later, noting that it admonished “a man who was to become a friend and mentor, Norman Thomas” (see Taking Sides (Holt, Rinheart and Winston, 1985), pp. 16, 20-33
  4. 4. Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (New Press, 1999), pp. 134, 230.
  5. 5. Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Harvard University Press, 2008), pp. 91-92. CIA chiefs liked to compare the Agency’s propaganda apparatus to a “Mighty Wurlitzer” jukebox, pumping out endless tunes at full volume.
  6. 6. “Dear Allen” from Norman Thomas (21 January 1959), “Dear Norman” from Allen Dulles (31 May 1960, 18 October 1960), etc., at cia.gov/library/readingroom and archive.org.
  7. 7. “Asia Group Here Backs U.S. Raids,” New York Times, 23 February 1965.
  8. 8. Underscoring that the intimate connection between the International Rescue Committee and U.S. intelligence agencies, Leo Cherne, who was IRC chairman for 40 years from 1951 on, was a member of the presidential Intelligence Oversight Board during 1971-76, appointed by Richard Nixon, then chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board after Nixon’s departure, andthen vice chairman of the PFIAB, appointed by Ronald Reagan, from 1981 to 1990.
  9. 9. Joseph G. Morgan, The Vietnam Lobby: The American Friends of Vietnam, 1955-1975, (University of North Carolina Press, 1997), pp. 18-28.
  10. 10. Robert Scheer and Warren Hinckle, “The ‘Vietnam Lobby,’” Ramparts, July 1965. Maurice Isserman’s lengthy biography of Harrington, The Other American (Public Affairs, 2000), includes 38 index entries on Norman Thomas, but does not mention the AFVN at all.
  11. 11. Douglas Waller, Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage (Simon & Schuster, 2011), pp. 370-371, 375.
  12. 12. Morgan, Vietnam Lobby, p. 25 (emphasis added).
  13. 13. Letter from John W. O’Daniel, Lt. Gen. U.S. Army (Ret.), 9 September 1957, on line at http://indochina1911.com/gsdl/collect/tritran/index/assoc/HASHa18f/9569ce13.dir/doc.pdf
  14. 14. Morgan, Vietnam Lobby, pp. 31, 40.
  15. 15. Wilford, Mighty Wurlitzer, 175; Chester, Covert Network, pp. 5, 167-170.
  16. 16. “Kaplan Fund, Cited as C.I.A. ‘Conduit,’ Lists Unexplained $395,000 Grant,” New York Times, 3 September 1964.
  17. 17. “Dominican Republic Project: Norman Thomas Comments on Conjectured C.I.A. Link,” New York Times, 10 September 1964.
  18. 18. Wilford, Mighty Wurlitzer, pp. 142-147.
  19. 19. The media storm on CIA revelations is vividly described in Wilford, Mighty Wurlitzer, pp. 225-248, and Saunders, Cultural Cold War, pp. 381-406.
  20. 20. Norman Thomas, “CIA and Dominican Caper,” New America, 16 February 1967.
  21. 21. “Thomas Defends C.I.A.-Aided Work,” New York Times, 22 February 1967; also see “Labor Group Got $1 Million from CIA,” Washington Post, 21 February 1967.
  22. 22. Saunders, Cultural Cold War, 355; Wilford, Mighty Wurlitzer, pp. 185-186.
  23. 23. “Reuther Concedes UAW Got CIA Funds,” Washington Post, 8 May 1967. “AFL-CIA” history is usefully summed up in Philip Dray, There Is Power in a Union (Doubleday, 2010), pp. 515-525; Wilford’s Mighty Wurlitzer, pp. 51-69; and Ted Morgan’s Lovestone biography, A Covert Life (Random House, 2011).
  24. 24. Frank Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic: A National History (Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 390; Wilford, Mighty Wurlitzer, p. 186.
  25. 25. Eric Chenoweth, Democracy’s Champion: Albert Shanker and the International Impact of the American Federation of Teachers (Albert Shanker Institute, 2013), p. 11. Chenoweth was the national secretary of the Young Social Democrats, 1979-82.
  26. 26. William H. Chafe, Never Stop Running (Basic Books, 1993), pp. 191, 244, 254-261.
  27. 27. Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, Demonstration Elections: U.S.-Staged Elections in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and El Salvador (South End Press, 1984), pp. 42, 55, 115-119. Norman Thomas was key to positive media coverage of the 1966 Dominican elections as well as Bosch’s participation in them, the authors stress, also noting: “Subsequently, Lowenstein was associated with Freedom House, and served as a member of their mission to Rhodesia in 1979 and 1980. Frances Grant, one of the observers in (and apologists for) the Dominican Republic election showed up as a Freedom House observer in El Salvador in March 1982” (p. 250n).
  28. 28. Joshua Muravchik, “Comrades,” Commentary, 1 January 2006; Proceedings, 1966 National Convention, Socialist Party; New America, 22 April 1969 and 31 March 1972.
  29. 29. “Young Dems, YPSL Join in ‘Frontlash’,” Harvard Crimson, 6 March 1968; Wikipedia entry on Frontlash; See allthewaywithlbj.com; Chenoweth, Democracy’s Champion, p. 53.
  30. 30. Muravchik, “Comrades.”
  31. 31. Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, Interview with Charlotte Roe, 10 January 2005, on line at http://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Roe-Charlotte.pdf.
  32. 32. “Domino Effect: The AFL-CIO and the End of Communism” (15 June 2017) and “Democracy’s Champion: Albert Shanker” (3 February 2014), on shankerinstitute.org
  33. 33. Chenoweth, Democracy’s Champion, p. 65.
  34. 34. See “Solidarity, the Polish Union, Is Open for Business in U.S.,” New York Times, 25 September 1981;  and the Spartacist pamphlet, Solidarność: Polish Company Union for CIA and Bankers (1981), pp. 2-6.
  35. 35. Joseph Schwartz, “A History of Democratic Socialists of America 1971-2017,” July 2017, at dsa.org.