In a dishonest effort to smear the constitutionalist John Birch Society, Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen really made a mess of things, both for himself as well as for his editors and associates. It is the second time in as many months that a member of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations has used dishonesty in a bid to mislead uninformed Americans on the Birch Society. (The New American magazine is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The John Birch Society.)
In fact, thanks to Thiessen's blatant error, the factual record on the Society is now being set straight again in major newspapers all across America. And in the process, Thiessen's troubling links to “white nationalists,” and his bizarre belief that a notorious white supremacist defined the “respectable right,” is now becoming more widely known all over the country and beyond.
The saga began on August 30, when Thiessen''s column, headlined “Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis,” appeared in the Post. The main point of the piece is that the violent communist-minded antifa group should be shunned and condemned because it is morally equivalent with National Socialists (Nazis). But in the original version, Thiessen also included a major error about conservatives.
“In the 1960s, William F. Buckley excommunicated the anti-Semitic John Birch Society from the respectable right,” wrote Thiessen, a neoconservative member of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations who helped write the misleading and sometimes blatantly false claims that President George W. Bush would use to lead America into disastrous and illegal wars that have produced nothing but disaster and mass death — especially for Christians.
After being made aware of the potentially libelous error by outraged readers and JBS members, the Washington Post and Thiessen backed down from the blatant lie, but only slightly, providing what some critics said was evidence of malice. Instead of issuing an immediate and full correction and apology, they added a few words as cover and left the obviously false accusation in the piece, softening it to “widely believed then to be anti-Semitic.” As evidence, the increasingly discredited paper linked to a 1966 JTA article that never calls JBS anti-Semitic, complaining only that JBS was not fighting anti-Semitism vigorously enough. The Post ignored other articles from the same publication and the same year discussing the Society's many Jewish members, employees, and leaders.
For perspective, this would be the equivalent calling somebody a thief in the paper, then, upon realizing that the person had actually been a good samaritan working to stop the thief, adding in that the libeled victim was "widely believed to be a thief," without ever pointing out the truth that the person was trying to stop thievery. Making matters worse, the column falsely portrayed the real thief (Buckley) as a hero. This is completely unacceptable under any known ethical standards for media, journalism, or even basic honesty. It's the very definition of bearing false witness.
Of course, the record on JBS on this issue is clear. From the time of its founding in 1958 by Robert Welch, the Society was not only open to Jews and people of all races and diverse creeds, but Welch himself selected prominent Jewish patriots to serve on the National Council. The first was patriotic businessman Alfred Kohlberg, who served on the original JBS National Council, constituted very shortly after Buckley cited "Negro backwardness" as a reason to deny voting rights to black Americans.
Jews have continued to serve on the Council since then, including Andy Dlinn who sits on it today. Speaking to The New American, Dlinn, who previously served as a chapter leader and is now a section leader, said that when somebody was caught telling anti-Semitic jokes, he called JBS headquarters and that person's membership was immediately terminated. “The JBS follows through on its pledge and will not let this kind of filth neutralize the critical and essential work of the Society,” Dlinn said. “Watch what an organization actually says and does, not what others, without basis tell you about it.”
In a letter sent to a newspaper editor, Dlinn called Thiessen's claims “definitely libelous” and provided a massive array of documentation to “demonstrate conclusively the absolute falseness and maliciousness” of the column's false statements on JBS. “I have contacted a number of newspaper editors who were shocked to discover the facts,” the letter continues, blasting the Washington Post's “totally inadequate” response to the scandal. To their credit, virtually every paper that printed the lie aside from the Post took immediate and serious action to rectify the situation.
This is at least the second time in recent months that a columnist for the Post has been forced to withdraw a false statement about JBS. Neocon Jennifer Rubin got caught spreading lies about JBS, calling it a "white nationalist" group. A few weeks later, to avoid lying directly and libelously about JBS, Rubin used a sandwich smear she knew was dishonest. (A sandwich smear is done by adding the name of an innocent person or group to a list of bad people or groups to imply guilt by association.) Her editors did not respond to questions about it.
The JBS actually has a rich history of Jewish involvement. Another Jewish leader, Dr. Sam Blumenfeld, who co-authored a book with this writer, was involved with the Society for many decades and actually worked for it. So passionate was Dr. Blumenfeld about the work of the JBS that, together with other prominent Jewish Birchers such as Alan Stang and Holocaust survivor Georgia Gabor, he helped create the Jewish Society of Americanists in 1966.
In a statement of principles, the founders said the Society’s aim was “to demonstrate to our fellow Americans and coreligionists that the Americanist principles, beliefs and aims of the John Birch Society are based on the very precepts of Judaism.” They estimated that about 1,000 of the approximately 100,000 JBS members at that time were Jewish. Ironically, some enemies of the Society over the years have even accused it of being a “Jewish front” to supposedly "protect Jews from suspicion.”
Beyond that history, even official investigations have concluded the obvious. In a 1963 report that is available online, a California Senate Fact-Finding Committee concluded after a two-year investigation that not only was the Society not racist or anti-Semitic, it specifically opposed racism and anti-Semitism. “Among other unjustified criticisms against the society is the charge that it is anti-Semitic,” the report found, noting that JBS was working with prominent Jewish groups to “squelch” anti-Semitism. “Our investigation leads us to the opposite conclusion. The organization is open to people of all religions, all races, all political persuasions except those deemed subversive.”
In fact, Jewish Birchers quoted in the official report said they felt more welcome in The John Birch Society than in American society at large. “It has been my experience, as a member of a so-called minority group, that I have felt in the society a very great sense of mutual co-operation and respect — a conviction of belonging far above the actual circumstance to be found in daily life outside the society,” Jerome E. Linz, a Jewish member of JBS from Southern California, was quoted as saying in the 1963 California report.
The California Senate's report also noted that across the state, there were “many Jews on Birch committees,” and “many in the society.” Some members, the report added, “have been asked to resign because they were found to be disruptive with their anti-Semitic attitude.” The investigators also concluded that Welch “has already acted to oust anti-Semites from the movement.” The real excommunicator of anti-Semites, then, was Welch.
The California investigation's conclusions were unequivocal. “At any rate, our investigations have disclosed no evidence of anti-Semitism on the part of anyone connected with the John Birch Society in California, and much evidence to the effect that it opposes racism in all forms,” the investigators said.
By contrast, the alleged excommunicator of the Society from what Thiessen referred to as the “respectable right,” National Review boss Buckley, was around that time proudly defending white supremacy and advocating that the "more advanced race" deny voting rights to black Americans. The goal, according to Buckley, was to preserve the more advanced white civilization from black culture and what he referred to as “Negro backwardness.” The full column, headlined "Why the South Must Prevail," would be shocking to most modern readers.
Probably sensing a shift in the political winds, Buckley eventually changed his tune. And a few years before he died, perhaps realizing that his entire legacy could be destroyed if his previously expressed views became more widely known, he publicly repented in the establishment press. “I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow,” he told Time magazine in 2004, just four years before his death. “I was wrong. Federal intervention was necessary.”
Still, despite becoming more widely known today thanks to the Internet, Buckley's blatant white supremacism and bigotry of those years amid the alleged “excommunication” of the Birch Society is virtually never mentioned by his apologists. Instead, they prefer to spread myths and sometimes outright lies about both Buckley and the JBS, as well as others smeared by Buckley such as Ayn Rand, Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, and plenty more.
Thiessen and his associates have their own problems with the very same type of allegations they throw out, too. According to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which admittedly is not a credible organization and often lumps mainstream Christians in with Nazis and the KKK, the American Enterprise Institute, where Thiessen is a fellow, employs a prominent “white nationalist” who uses “racist pseudoscience” to “argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.”
But beyond an apparent disdain for the truth and troubling associations with war criminals and white nationalists, Buckley and Thiessen — as well as Bush-era official Condoleezza Rice, who recently smeared JBS with similarly dishonest tactics — have even deeper connections. All of them are (or in the case of the late Buckley, were) members of the globalist swamp known as the Council on Foreign Relations. Other members include Hillary Clinton and others on the far Left.
The CFR agenda, according to its publications, leaders, and members, is to erode the sovereignty of the United States and other nations on the road toward “global governance.” The group also has a long history of supporting illegal, unconstitutional, and disastrous wars to build what many of its members refer to publicly as the “New World Order.”
The JBS, of course, has been extremely effective in stopping the CFR's agenda, as admitted by leading CFR operatives such as the late Robert Pastor in his book The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future about his CFR-backed, European Union-style “North America” schemes. The John Birch Society, he said, was among the leading groups that “have been the most vocal, active and intense on North American issues, and they were effective in inhibiting the Bush administration and deterring the Obama administration from any grand initiatives.” Rice and Thiessen were both involved in the effort during the presidency of George W. Bush, whose grandfather faced legal troubles for helping finance the Nazi war machine.
In a statement, John F. McManus, president emeritus of the JBS and author of the book William F. Buckley, Jr., Pied Piper for the Establishment, offered more insight. “Mark Thiessen's claim that William Buckley ousted The John Birch Society from the GOP because of anti-Semitism is completely false,” he explained. “He campaigned against the Society because of its efforts to combat a conspiracy which he likely joined as far back as the early 1950s. Fewer than two years after he finished his studies at Yale, the soon-to-be-dubbed leading American conservative was serving in a deep cover (his words) assignment in the Central Intelligence Agency in Mexico. He never let anyone know what the deep cover entailed.”
From there, McManus continued, “he sent his thoughts about where the U.S. government should go in an article appearing in the January 25, 1952 issue of The Commonweal, a Catholic weekly.” In that article, Buckley called for “Big Government for the duration … through a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores ... and the attendant centralization of power in Washington — even with Truman at the reins of all of it.” McManus responded to Buckley's comments: “Nothing conservative about that!”
Buckley’s betrayals of constitutionally limited government were not his only flaws, McManus continued, citing Buckley's support for a broad range of leftist and globalist causes. “Over many years, Buckley rescued liberal and international initiatives from possible cancellation by announcing his support for the insupportable — the United Nations, foreign aid, gun control, gay rights, the Council on Foreign Relations, and more,” he said, citing Buckley's “lifetime of betrayal and the support he received for his treachery from an array liberals and leftists who were falsely portrayed as his enemies.” Buckley was even in the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale with people like John Kerry and the Bushes.
Basically, even in light of his late 1950s rants in favor of white supremacy, Buckley was a member of the establishment that today labels anyone and everyone who opposes its agenda racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, haters, bigots, and all the other pejoratives applied to the Tea Party, Donald Trump, and others by the establishment in more recent years.
On the other hand, The John Birch Society, McManus said, “has always positioned itself outside the ruling Establishment of which Buckley had become a mouthpiece, where he consistently excused the inexcusable and falsely attacked the honorable.” But with the advent of the Internet, the truth is getting much harder to conceal — and the establishment knows it.
Despite the phony claims of Thiessen and other establishment “conservatives” and their useful idiots, the JBS is increasingly being recognized on all sides as among the leading influences behind modern conservatism. “Far from being drummed out of conservatism, it has become the dominant strain,” wrote Jeet Heer, senior editor at the leftist New Republic, arguing that the rise of Donald Trump was essentially the culmination of 60 years of JBS educational efforts. “Far from belonging merely to the lunatic fringe, the Birchers were important precursors to what is now the governing ideology of the Republican Party: Trumpism.... Bircherism is now, with Trump, flourishing in an entirely new way.”
Writing in the leftist establishment organ Salon, writer Daniel Denvir also claimed Trump was proof of a JBS takeover of conservatism and the GOP. “These sorts of conspiracies are not limited to immigration: the far right that has taken over the Republican Party incorporates a whole range of extreme theories rooted in the Cold War paranoia of the John Birch Society ... and the rantings of Alex Jones and his Infowars empire,” he wrote. More recently, Politico, Newsmax, and many other influential media outlets have highlighted the surging influence of the Society, bursting the false myths propagated by establishment insiders. Radio titan Alex Jones, an ally of Trump who helped put him in office, said the president is "more John Birch Society than the John Birch Society" because he "knows everything." As an education organization the JBS never endorses candidates, but its members are very active in politics.
In the Huffington Post, historian Robert McElvaine claimed Trump was proof that the JBS was winning. “The Trump candidacy is the culmination of the long campaign begun by McCarthyism and the John Birch Society in the 1950s and aimed at discrediting virtually every institution in the United States,” he wrote. In 2011, meanwhile, journalist Andrew Reinbach, also writing in the Huffington Post, made a similar argument. “Most Americans don’t realize that the right wing’s main ideas have been pushed for 50 years by the John Birch Society (JBS), … which has since become the intellectual seed bank of the right,” he said.
Since Thiessen's original column was published, virtually every newspaper or website that carried it other than the Post, which syndicated it, has taken serious steps to correct the record. From changing the language and printing corrections and letters to fully pulling down the column and volunteering to run letters and opeds by Jewish JBS leaders laying out the facts. Thiessen's dishonesty — and the dishonesty of his editors — has now been made known across the country. Some of the editors who spoke to this reporter said there was a deluge of complaints, and that they were shocked to learn the truth. Thiessen's links to white nationalists and his claim that a then-white supremacist gets to “excommunicate” opponents of anti-Semitism from the “respectable right” have also drawn concerns.
Thiessen, his Washington Post editors, and his associates at the American Enterprise Institute were all offered ample opportunity to comment on the growing scandal. None responded to The New American's e-mails or phone calls by press time. The Washington Post, which refuses to disclose its owner's ties to the CIA and Bilderberg in relevant news stories, has not said whether it intends to issue a more meaningful correction or allow the victims of the smear to offer any defense. Either way, every ethical standard in journalism was violated by Thiessen and the Post. This article will be updated if a response is received from either. In the meantime, the stench of the Post's reputation as a leading purveyor of fake news and establishment propaganda will continue to intensify.