Information Digest Special Report on VVAW: 8/25/72 (page 2)
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
NOTE:From May 1969 until the present, the USSF has
been deeply involved in supporting radical antiwar causes, and especially the
GI coffeehouse movement and GI underground newspapers.During the period May 1969 to November 1970,
the USSF spent over $125,667 on these projects, and had an income of $166,
Major contributors to the
USSF included the Fund for Tomorrow, Inc. [Peter and Cora Weiss], the Stern
Family Fund, Max Palevsky, Elizabeth and Paul Williams, and Anne Peretz.
A detailed account of the
USSF will be found in October 1971 HISC hearings, Investigation of Attempts
to Subvert the U.S. Armed Services.
the weeks following Winter Soldier, VVAW staged similar histrionics in New
Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, St. Louis, Atlanta, Minnesota, Boston and
Florida, and through coverage by the National Educational Television (NET) on
4/19/71 received nation-wide publicity.
publicity generated by Winter Soldier, VVAW organized Dewey Canyon III,
"a limited incursion of Washington, D.C.," April 19-24,
1971.The purpose of Dewey Canyon III
was to "call upon the Congress and Supreme Court to exercise their
defined Constitutional responsibilities to override Nixon's blood lust, and act
to stop all 'business as usual,' until the government recognizes and responds
positively to our demands.CB"C"bB,CB
Canyon III was an unconventional prelude to the inevitable annual spring
antiwar protest which gained massive media coverage.An estimated one thousand VVAW members and supporters gathered in
Washington, set up an illegal encampment on the Mall, marched, demonstrated,
performed guerrilla theater, met with Senators and Congressmen, threw away
their medals in "a final act of contempt for the way the executive
branch is forcing us to wage war," and won an accolade from Senator
George McGovern who described the anti-American propaganda circus as "the
most effective protest to date...."
The mall encampment was the subject of an injunction granted by the U.S.
Supreme Court, sought by the Justice Department and contested on behalf of VVAW
by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
Despite the fact that the
injunction was granted by the Chief Justice and confirmed by the full Court,
VVAW ignored it.No attempt to enforce
it was made by the Justice Department, and the injunction was dissolved at the
Government's own request.
Canyon III was an expensive project for VVAW:tents were rented, rations supplied, and transportation provided.Logistical support was granted by the
Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), People's Coalition for Peace and
Justice (PCPJ), and the Rennie Davis Mayday apparat.
Canada, a wealthy friend of Davis from Indiana, provided much of the food.Financial supporters of Dewey Canyon III (at
$5,000 each] included Edgar Branfman, president of Seagram's Distillers; Philip
J. Levin, president of Madison Square Garden; and a New York City banker,
addition to seeing the Supreme Court defied on its very steps, Dewey Canyon III
saw the emergence of a VVAW national coordinator, John F. Kerry [Mass.,
MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], as a spokesman.Kerry became VVAW's star speaker, but by the end of summer he had
acquired sufficient media coverage and prominence to return to conventional
politcs.He is now campaigning in
Boston for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1971, VVAW has taken a leadership role in the Communist dominated segments of
the U.S. antiwar movement.According to
an article in the Guardian, 5/24/72, by Abe Weisburd,
"VVAW ... is a
dedicated anti-imperialist, anti-racist organization.... It is a permanent
veterans organization which has one of its stated objectives to change 'the
domestic social, political and economic institutions that have caused and
permitted the continuance of the war.'Among its other stated objectives are:to struggle against racism, to end U.S. illegal operations in Latin
America, Africa, China, Europe, Thailand, as well as Indochina; to affirm the
principles of Nuremberg relative to American war crimes in Indochina; to
achieve complete freedom for all deserters, antiwar dissenters, and political
prisoners; and for jobs, proper education and health care for veterans."
The article concludes:
"VVAW with its positive program for jobs and against
racism, and its ability to relate to the veteran, is one of the most important
anti-imperialist organizations on the U.S. scene.It has natural allies in the working class and the oppressed
nationalities in the U.S.Effecting
greater unity among those forces is a blow against U.S. imperialism."
Abe Weisburd, the writer of this eulogy, is a long-time supporter of CPUSA
causes, and has served on the administrative committee of New York's Fifth
Avenue Peace Parade Committee [MEMBER] as the representative of Trade
Unionists for Peace, described by the late J. Edgar Hoover as [ILLEGIBLE] Communist Party."
the past fifteen months, VVAW has sought publicity by demonstrations in a
number of U.S. cities.In the last week
of December, 1971, VVAW "occupied" the Statue of Liberty in New York,
the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, a military
hospital in California, and the South Vietnamese consulate in San Francisco in
actions coordinated from New York by Al Hubbard which were designed to "put
the issue of the war back on the front page."
spring of 1972, antiwar actions by VVAW took a leadership role in attempting to
block access to federal buildings and military installations; and VVAW was well
represented in the abortive attempt to blockade the Pentagon on May 22.
home and in foreign countries, VVAW members work to bring discredit on the
U.S.In July 1972, VVAW members and
leaders including Jean-Pierre Wendell [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION],
Leland Lubinsky [*], Fred Warner [*], Alan Morris [*] and
Albert Morgan [*] visited Cuba.While in Havana, according to a Radio Havana Spanish language broadcast
on July 5, they donated blood to the North Vietnamese.
visit to Hanoi, VVAW staffer Joe Urgo [JOSEPH URGO,MEMBER OF SUBJECT
ORGANIZATION] told a reporter for CPUSA's Daily World that his North
Vietnamese hosts were distributing leaflets to GI's telling them that "if
they do not attack the villages and refuse to go on combat operations, their
base camps will not be harmed."
February 1972, the Daily World reported a speech by Al Hubbard before a rally
at the World Assembly for Peace in Paris which set a new trend in antiwar
activity in the U.S.Hubbard related
how the U.S. government "is escalating the aggression in Indochina instead
of winding it down" to the thousand-odd assembly delegates, and then proceeded
to give details of classified U.S. ship and aircraft movements.
example of giving classified military information to the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam [North Vietnam] was quickly followed by VVAW generally.VVAW took credit [in the Daily World,
of course] for releasing "a 24-page document with information revealing
air force, navy, and troop maneuvers.The material had been gathered from active-duty GI's throughout the
country and in Vietnam."[It
was released via the Ad Hoc Military Build-up Committee, a U.S. group in direct
contact with the DRV.The same Daily
World article that contained this information also contained a complaint
from Detroit [Mich.] VVAW leader Bill Marshall [MEMBER OF SUBJECT
ORGANIZATION] that as far as the FBI is concerned, "we're spies,
infiltrators and saboteurs."
they have been and sabotage was charged four months later.Six VVAW national leaders, Scott Camil,
William J. Patterson [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], Peter P. Mahoney
[*], Donald P. Perdue [*], John W. Kniffin [*] and Alton
C. Foss [*], were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to
disrupt the Republican Convention by violence. [FLA., D.C., N.Y.]
national headquarters is at 25 West 26th Street, New York, N.Y. 10010
(212/725-5680).It publishes its own
newspaper at irregular intervals which is called "The 1st Casualty."
claims a national membership of 25,000 including 2,500 active-duty GI's in
Vietnam and an active membership of 8,000.However investigative sources credit VVAW with less than 1,000 active
members.It is noted that in August
1972, VVAW could not muster more than 300 members nationally for its project
Operation Lost Patrol which has been hearalded by VVAW publicists as "a
massive caravan of 25,000 cars and 100,000 persons travelling to Miami to
protest the Republican Convention."
VVAW documents show that the organization works closely with such organizations
as La Raza Unida, the Black Panther Party, National Welfare Rights Organization,
United Farmworkers Organizing Committee, Angela Davis Defense Committee, Billy
Dean Smith Defense Committee, National Lawyers Guild, Miami Convention
Coalition and the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice - all organizations
in which the Communist Party, U.S.A. takes a sympathetic interest and in
several instances dominates.
1972, VVAW's National Steering Committee met for its quarterly convention in
Houston, Texas.Stated an internal
document, it decided "to secure and build our community base through
continuing agitation," and also to decentralize, placing control of
the organization with six national coordinators:Jack Bronaugh [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], E.B. Del
Rosario [*], Peter Mahoney [*], Jack McCloskey [*], Michael McCain [*] and
Barry Romo [*]. [Texas, N.Y.]
to a VVAW report, Al Hubbard and Joe Urgo did not stand for re-election, saying
that they wanted a rest from their responsibilities.
national coordinators are assisted by 26 regional coordinators who in turn have
a number of state and local coordinators to help them.
[Internal VVAW documents listing these coordinators
Houston conference listed new objectives - or rather rewrote the old ones in
still more demagogic terms.They
"The time will come when all our strength and energy will
be directed against those conditions here in our land which sent us to murder
our brothers and sisters in Indochina."
This rhetoric preceeded an
urgent appeal for funds:
"In this most critical period of our history, it becomes
more important than ever to stop the insane policies of Nixon and his
administration.Struggle and sacrifice
are called for to end the domination of so much of the world by the U.S. and
its business interests."
of only a fraction of those who have served in Southeast Asia, VVAW draws its
support from among the deviants (there is a considerable homosexual element in
VVAW, actively organized by special appeals in the underground press for
"gays" to join the organization), the maladjusted, and those who
either consciously accept Marxist doctrines or who are communist dupes.
of course, there are the cranks.One
VVAW document evaluated advocates thusly:
"Symplifying your life; trying new ways of living which
are counter to the present system.It
is an attempt or experiment to live under $1700 a year.It means setting up alternatives, sharing
food, jobs, owning little or no property ... going without ... Learning to
share, to love and to create and to be free in attempt to alter a society based
on fear, hate, and violence."
their motivation, VVAW members have demonstrated over the past five years their
ability to follow the dictates of international communism, and to march in lock
step with our enemies in Vietnam and the communist world.
their attempts to dislocate the Republican Convention and a spell of rest and
relaxation, VVAW activists will gather in San Jose, California, at the ranch
home of David Harris, a convicted draft-evader and ex-husband of folk-singing
antiwar activist Joan Baez [JOAN HARRIS, MRS. DAVID HARRIS], from
October 4 through 7 for their national convention.
will be strict security.Delegates must
register at least two weeks in advance, and they will be subjected to a number
of security checks.
conference will determine the course that VVAW will take for the next twelve
months.Plans will be discussed for
pre-election projects to oppose President Nixon's campaign, and for an
"action" at the Presidential Inaugural in January.Various legal defense committees [the
Tallahassee Six and the Camp McCord Three] will be instituted or
reinvigorated.There will be some
publicity, and the usual sympathetic coverage by the mass media.
aspect of the VVAW 1972 national convention will not receive any publicity:
that aspect is the extent to which the Communist Party, U.S.A. dominates the
inception, VVAW has cashed in on the average citizen's natural concern and
sympathy for servicemen returned from war.If it becomes general knowledge that VVAW is a part of the communist
conspiracy, it will lose its value to the communists here and in Hanoi.With its malcontents and advocates of
violence, supported by wealthy credulous liberals, directed by this country's
red enemies, VVAW poses a threat which can be ignored only to our peril.