Friday, 23 September 2011

Boehner, House Honor Charlie Rangel Despite His Questionable Past

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RangelHouse Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House leaders paid tribute to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) on September 22, despite the fact that he was overwhelmingly censured by the House less than a year ago for ethics violations and has a history of courtship with Soviet and Communist subversive activities.

In December 2010, when the House was controlled by the Democratic majority of the 111th Congress, Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly voted 333-79 to censure Congressman Rangel with regard to unpaid taxes on property he owned in the Dominican Republican, other hidden assets, and for improper use of the his campaign office to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York — all of which are clear violations of House rules.

Congressional leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Speaker of the House John Boehner still felt it prudent to honor the former head of the Ways and Means Committee with a special reception and the unveiling of a portrait in the Longworth House Office Building.

The FEC granted Rangel permission to cover the cost of the lavish portrait — estimated at $65,000 — with funds from his campaign office. According to records, this is exactly what he did in 2008 as he also unethically used his campaign office to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

The improper use of campaign funds, which led to his 2010 censure stripping him of the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, is not the only stain on his reputation. Rangel has also in the past courted America’s enemies: the KGB, the Soviet Union, and Communists.

In the book KGB Today: The Hidden Hand, published in 1983 by Reader’s Digest Press, author John Barron revealed that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in a secret session in July 1982, deleted whole pages from a World Peace Council (WPC) brocuhure in order to protect the names of affiliated Democratic lawmakers including Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. The secret session was held on the subject of Soviet Active Measures and Soviet involvement in the “peace movement.” The WPC document was pertinent to the Intelligence Committee because of the WPC’s role as a front organization for the Soviet Union within the United States. The Committee labeled 48-page brochure Exhibit XI “Materials from World Peace Council Presidential Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C., [January] 25-28, 1978.”

Then-FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Edward O’Malley gave testimony of the Soviet Union’s involvement with the WPC:

The World Peace Council is, of course, the largest and most active Soviet front organization, with affiliates in approximately 135 countries. The WPC is one of the major Soviet instruments for political action and propaganda in the peace movement.

Barron further stated, “Agent Chandra, Colonel Radomir Bogdanov of the KGB and Oleg Kharkhardin of the International Department delighted in including members of Congress to join in discussions of ‘peace’ and disarmament.” [Emphasis added.]

The WPC published the 48-page brochure to herald its triumphant victory in opening its then-new “Information Centre” in Washington, D.C. — effectively giving the Soviet Union another base of operations (in addition to their official embassy) from which to conduct their active sabotage in the nation’s capital while at the same time influencing certain members of Congress.

Omitted from the brochure’s exhibition in the House Intelligence Committee were pages 3, 4, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 45, 46, 47, and 48. Omitted page 4 stated the following:

The wide interest in the work of the Bureau and the Dialogue was indicated by the participation in the sessions and also in special meetings inside the U.S. Congress itself of Bureau members with several Congressmen among which were Congressmen John Burton, Ted Weiss, Ronald Dellums, John Conyers, Jr., Don Edwards, Charles Rangel and others.

Congressman Rangel is seen on page 19 in a photograph, the caption of which reads: “Congressman Charles Rangel (left) and Congressman Don Edwards addressing participants in the WPC events.”

Like then-Rep. Leon Panetta (D-Calif.), now Secretary of Defense, who had ties with the pro-Sandinista Soviet-backed Institute for Policy Studies, Rep. Rangel is also documented as having collaborated with another Soviet-front organization in Washington, D.C. — the World Peace Council.

Rangel’s courtship with Communists didn’t end with the Cold War. The May 3, 1997 issue of the People’s Weekly World newspaper — a publication affiliated with the Communist Party and a member of the International Labor Communications Association —published an article entitled “People’s Weekly World $400,000 fund drive begins.” The article said that the New York Friends of the People’s Weekly World hosted a “Freedom Seder” at the Winston Union Auditorium in New York for the purpose of raising money and that the guests included then-Communist Party USA National Chair Gus Hall and his wife Elizabeth. According to the article, “Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, and city council members Gilford Miller and Tom Duane sent greetings.”

Overlooking these ethics violations, censure, and courtship with communist subversive activities, Speaker Boehner and other House leaders still took the time to bestow the honors of a reception ceremony and portrait upon Rep. Rangel in Congress.

Photo of Rep. Charlie Rangel: AP Images

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