Search Blog Posts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Building the Enemies of America: The Subversive Center for Constitutional Rights(CCR) - built by US Taxpayers

Building the Enemies of America

Council on Economic Priorities

30 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
  • North American Congress on Latin America(NACLA)
  • Center for Constitutional Rights(CCR)
  • Corporate Data Exchange(CDE)
  • Cuba Resource Center, Inc.(CRC)
  • Institute for World Order(IWO)
  • Samuel Rubin Foundation
  • Fund for Tomorrow
  • Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility(ICCR)
  • Institute for Policy Studies(IPS)

In the 1920s and 1930s, Soviet military intelligence, then the Fourth Bureau of the Red Army, in conjunction with the Comintern(Communist International) established an international network known as RABCOR from the contraction of the Russian words for "worker correspondents."
These ideologically committed revolutionaries gathered information on everything of possible interest and value to the first socialist state, concentrating on the technology of industrial Western nations related to national defense. This river of information was sent off by various means to Comintern headquarters in Moscow. The quantity of information gathered is indicated by the Daily Worker's claim that there were some 800 of these amateur spies active in the U.S. in 1934.After World War II, the Soviets reorganized. 

The Comintern's functions were taken over by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party which continued RABCOR-type information collection during the 1940s and 1950s through one of its controlled front groups, the World Federation of Trade Unions(WFTU). Soviet military intelligence, became known as the Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenye(GRU) {Main Intelligence Directorate}, remained the principal overseer and beneficiary. [See, David J. Dallin's Soviet Espionage, Yale University Press, 1955]. A veteran intelligence analyst suggested that such "worker correspondent" information gathering by the GRU would be unnecessary and redundant in the 1970s and 1980s since organizations like the North American Congress on Latin America(NACLA), American Friends Service Committee's National Action/Research on the Military Industrial Complex(NARMIC), and Council on Economic Priorities(CEP) collect and publish similar information.

The Council on Economic Priorities(CEP) on June 15, 1981, held a "briefing" and press conference at the National Press Club in Washington to announce release of a new study, The Iron Triangle: The Politics of Defense Contracting, by Gordon Adams. The study involved an intensive survey and analysis of eight key defense industries, forms required by federal law to be filed by individuals who change their employment from defense industries to government or the reverse, defense and space advisory boards, and trade and armed services associations. 

CEP's study focused on the type of classified information to which these groups have access related to research and development programs for new U.S. weapons. CEP also reviewed the role each of these groups plays in conjunction with the Department of Defense(DoD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), and the Research and Development subcommittees of Congress.  

The CEP study targeted the research and development process in the production of new weapons and defense systems, the key area in which the U.S. retains superiority over the USSR. The CEP report in effect calls for an end to U.S. secrecy in the development of new weapons, tactics and military policies. This research project was financed by several organizations and individuals with close ties to the Institute for Policy Studies(IPS), and those whom author Gordon Adams names as involved in its preparation or in providing him with encouragement, if not direction, include principals of IPS and the North American Congress on Latin America(NACLA).

IPS was founded in 1963 by two former White House and State Department aides, Marcus Raskin and Richard Barnet, who set about organizing networks of "progressive" contacts on Capitol Hill, in executive branch agencies, and among academics. IPS placed its contacts in seminars with disarmament leaders and revolutionary activists who supported Fidel Castro's Cuba and various Third World "national liberation movements" backed by the Soviets. 

Together they worked out "alternative" U.S. policies - disarmament, ending military alliances, and nonintervention against Soviet aggression carried out through surrogates. IPS's main targets remain the NATO alliance, Defense Department, defense contractors, arms manufacturing companies and the intelligence agencies. Richard Barnet provided a promotional blurb for The Iron Triangle in which he called it a "comprehensive and devastating analysis of the defense procurement process." He praised CEP's report as "a major accomplishment and of great importance." 

Barnet was listed among the CEP's first advisors and consultants in 1970, and from 1977 to 1980 was a CEP trustee.

Peter Weiss
The principal source for IPS funds(and a funder of the $100,000 CEP study) is the Samuel Rubin Foundation. The chairman of the IPS board of trustees and president of the foundation is Peter Weiss, husband of Cora Weiss and son-in-law of Samuel Rubin. Until his death in December 1978, Samuel Rubin, retired chairman of Faberge, used his fortune to support the arts, medical research, charities and many radical groups in addition to IPS and its Transnational Institute(TNI) subsidiary. In 1935, the Comintern directed its parties into the "popular front," an era of Communist "respectability." Secret U.S. Communist Party members openly enrolled as Communists on the voter rolls for the 1936 elections. Among them was Samuel Rubin.  

Peter Weiss, born 12/8/25 in Vienna, Austria, is the senior partner of the law firm Weiss, Dawid, Fross & Lehrman in New York. He is a member of several professional associations of patent lawyers and his firm specializes in trademark, copyright and international law. Weiss is a prominent member of the National Lawyers Guild(NLG), a radical lawyers association organized in 1936 with the assistance of the Comintern and lawyers from the Communist Party, U.S.A.(CPUSA). 

The NLG remains the U.S. section of the Soviet-controlled international lawyers' front, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers(IADL), which is controlled by the Comintern's successor, the Soviet Communist Party's International Department. In addition to grants to CEP through the Samuel Rubin Foundation and Fund for Tomorrow, Peter Weiss has been a direct funder of CEP. For some 15 years, Weiss has been a leader of the Center for Constitutional Rights(CCR), a Tax-Exempt litigation group of NLG activists handling important cases against the U.S. intelligence agencies, and in representing Philip Agee's interests, Castroite parties and support groups for foreign terrorist movements. 

Radical attorney and prominent defender of domestic terrorists, William Kunstler, is a member of the CCR. Cora Weiss, an officer of the Rubin foundation, gained notoriety as a leader of the U.S. anti-Vietnam coalitions who traveled to Paris and Hanoi for repeated meetings with the Vietnamese Communist leaders. 

Her own organization, the Committee of Liaison, became a conduit for contacts between American POWs and their families. Three POWs brought back by her group testified in the U.S. Senate that their release from Hanoi was conditional on their making anti-war propaganda statements for Weiss' "Liaison" group, an indication of the regard in which the North Vietnamese held her efforts. After the 1975 conquest of South Vietnam, Cora Weiss directed projects of two organizations sending material aid to Hanoi - Friendshipment and the Church World Service. In 1976, she was a key organizer of the July 4 Coalition's anti-bicentennial demonstration in Philadelphia. She subsequently became a leader of the U.S. disarmament movement and directed the Disarmament Program of Riverside Church in New York.  

The head of IPS's Transnational Institute, Orlando Letelier, had documents at the time of his murder in 1976 showing that he was being paid money brought clandestinely from Havana via the Cuban diplomatic pouch. Letelier was sending political reports to Havana in the same way through the New York station chief of the Cuban Direccion General de Inteligencia(DGI), whose cover was First Secretary of the Cuban U.N. Mission. He was Julian Torres Rizo, identified as a DGI official in 1969 when he was working as a boathand on the ship carrying the first Venceremos Brigade members to Havana. 

Rizo, as he preferred to be called, had a "private" office at the Center for Cuban Studies in New York. In 1977, an IPS research project that gathered psychological data and profiled hundreds of top U.S. corporate officials via general surveys and in-depth interviews with selected executives and family members, resulted in publication of a book, The Gamesman, by Michael Maccoby. Critics panned the book for superficiality, but not for lack of diligence in collection of data.

 Cora and Peter Weiss have used two foundations under their personal control - the defunct Twenty-First Century Fund and the Fund for Tomorrow - to receive some $50,000 a year from the Rubin Foundation and redistribute this to radical projects working parallel to IPS and to the "independent" spin-off projects within the IPS network. These recipients include the Center for Cuban Studies, the North American Congress on Latin America(NACLA) and the Corporate Data Exchange(CDE).

NACLA was formed in 1967 after the Tricontinental Congress in Havana by individuals associated with Students for a Democratic Society(SDS). NACLA said it was recruiting "men and women, from a variety of organizations and movements, who not only favor revolutionary change in Latin America, but also take a revolutionary position toward their own society." SDS leaders called NACLA the "intelligence gathering arm" of the radical movement. NACLA's published Methodology Guide recommends supplementing public source information by pretext interviews and phone calls, and NACLA has also planted or developed covert sources in government agencies and private companies. Over the years, NACLA materials have been used in a number of anti-U.S., Cuban publications.  

Particular targets for NACLA information-gathering include companies supplying arms, anti-terrorist and police equipment to Latin America and Mexico; U.S. government defense, counter-insurgent and anti-terrorist programs; and oil, agribusiness, minerals and other U.S. companies with major Latin American operations. NACLA veterans have included Michael Klare, head of IPS's Militarism and Disarmament Project and specialist on U.S. arms sales policies, anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency programs who lectures on such subjects at the University of Havana; and Michael Locker, head of the Corporate Data Exchange(CDE) that is funded by the Samuel Rubin Foundation via the Weiss's Fund for Tomorrow. Locker is also on the staff of the Cuba Resource Center, Inc., a non-profit, Tax-Exempt pro-Castro corporation in New York City.

 In the British edition of Inside the Company: CIA Diary, CIA-turncoat Philip Agee, acknowledged that agencies of the Cuban government and representatives of the Cuban Communist Party provided "special assistance *** and ***data available only from government documentation" and that "John Gerassi, Nicki Szulc and Michael Locker of the North American Congress for Latin America(NACLA) obtained vital research materials in New York and Washington, DC." Locker's name was deleted from the U.S. edition.


CEP's four-year, $100,000 research project was funded by the Samuel Rubin Foundation, the Institute for World Order(IWO), an organization with close ties to IPS, by General Motors heir and philanthropist Stewart Mott, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lilienthal, and the New York Community Trust. Author Gordon Adams acknowledges in the report that the individuals involved with critiquing the draft report included IPS fellow Philip Brenner, a Marxist instructor at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus denied tenure and who also was Washington editor of Cubatimes, the magazine of the Cuba Resource Center(CRC); NACLA veteran Michael Locker, then head of a specialized NACLA spin-off, the Corporate Data Exchange(CDE) and a member of the CRC staff and Peter Barash, staff director of the Subcommittee on Commerce once chaired by Rep. Ben Rosenthal(D-NY) of the House Government Operations Committee.  

Those who "provided the support and encouragement the author needed at critical moments" included Cora Weiss; Tim Smith, a 1980 CEP trustee and head of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility(ICCR), another group funded by Peter and Cora Weiss through the Rubin Foundation and Fund for Tomorrow that gathers information mainly on U.S. companies doing business with South Africa; and Tom Asher, a former member of the CEP board and executive committee and Washington lawyer long associated with IPS projects. Asher's wife, Marge Tabankin, was the Carter Administration's head of the ACTION/VISTA programs.  

Demonstrating the in-bred CEP family connections is the fact that while Asher served on CEP's executive committee, CEP's earliest advisors and consultants included not only IPS's Richard Barnet, but also Sam Brown, from 1977 to 1981 Tabankin's boss as head of ACTION/VISTA. Adams also credited Kai Bird, associate editor of The Nation, a weekly magazine whose primary writers and contributors are veterans of IPS and NACLA, bolstered occasionally by writers such as Philip Agee and Victor Perlo from the Communist Party, U.S.A. Central Committee.  


Victor Perlo, 1912-1999, was a preeminent Marxist economist, member of the Communist Party, USA, and the chair-emeritus of the Party’s Economic Commission.  Mr. Perlo was born on May 15, 1912 in East Elmhurst, New York. He was the son of Russian-Americans who had both emigrated from Omsk in Siberia. Perlo gted from Columbia University in 1933 where he received his Baccalaureate and Masters in Mathematics and Statistics.

Perlo joined the Roosevelt Administration serving in various New Deal government agencies from 1939 to 1947. He was one of the group of economists known as “Harry Hopkins” bright young men. Along with other economists in the group, he worked for the enactment and implementation of the WPA jobs program headed by Mr. Hopkins. Perlo was also instrumental in getting unemployment compensation, the Wagner National Labor Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and Social Security enacted and implemented.Source


According to The Iron triangle, the key ways to force greater disclosures about military research and development programs, among the most highly classified military secrets, include the following tactics:
  • to focus attention on the voluntary political action committees(PACs) set up by U.S. corporations that are principal defense contractors, raise conflict-of-interest questions against Congressmen and Senators who have accepted those PAC contributions, and urge Congress lowering PAC contribution limits;
  • to expose "corporate interests in work that Federal advisory committees consider, and board member ties with government;"
  • to press for legislation to restrict NASA and DoD personnel from going to work for defense contractors in fields related to their area of expertise in the guise of putting "greater distance between DoD and the industry;"
  • to classify a far greater number of the activities of defense contractors' Washington offices as "lobbying" and require additional restrictions and disclosures.
The CEP report targeted eight "highly significant" defense contractors - Boeing, General Dynamics, Grumman, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop, Rockwell International and United Technologies - and "gathered a wide range of available data *** using company disclosures and a variety of Federal and local resources." CEP appears unconcerned that there are legitimate national security reasons why long-term weapons development programs and military policy meetings are kept as secret as possible. 

Furthermore, although Iron Triangle was unable to document wrong-doing by the eight defense companies, their experts who serve on military technology advisory boards or the former DoD technicians who have gone to work for those defense contractors, CEP carped that without full disclosure, "it is difficult for the public(and, of course, also for the Soviet GRU) to determine whether industry representatives acquire preferential access through such committees." The Council on Economic Priorities in effect is saying that in the absence of evidence of wrong-doing or impropriety, one should assume that the parties concerned are guilty.  

The Council on Economic Priorities was founded in 1969 by Alice R. Tepper, now Alice Tepper-Marlin, who has been its executive-director, editor-in-chief, and president ex-officio of the board of directors. Its budget grew from an initial $30,000 loan from Alice Tepper to a 1980 budget of $628,000 with five administrative and clerical and fifteen professional employees.  

Alice Tepper-Marlin, a political organizer for the 1968 Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign, earned a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College and did graduate work at the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration and the Kennedy Institute at Harvard.

She worked as a financial analyst at Thomas O'Connell Research & Management Corp., as a securities analyst and labor economist at Burnham & Co., and has been an instructor at Rutgers University and Antioch College. CEP's stated goals are "significant improvements in both the quality of corporate performance as it touches the important areas of our social and natural environment, and the quality of governmental performance as it interacts with the corporate establishment." It is a nonprofit, Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) foundation. CEP credits its success to the extensive national press coverage it has obtained from its inception. In its promotional literature, CEP has said:
"Beginning with its first study, the Council's publications have received extensive in-depth news coverage in virtually every national publication. The New York Times has covered all reports issued by the Council, several as front page stories. Others, such as Associated Press, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Chicago Daily News, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and TV programs have consistently reported on the Council's work."
In a May 1974 letter to Ms. Tepper-Marlin, Robert W. Scrivner, director of the Rockefeller Family Fund, wrote:
"***that the Fund was therefore 'willing to invest on the basis of its faith in a few individuals'***. Your own imagination, vigor and dedication to the work of the Council have thus been major forces in our decision to provide continued support for the Council."
In his book, Lobbying the Corporations, [Basic Books, 1978], David Vogel wrote that 30% of CEP's income comes from corporations who subscribe to the full range of CEP studies[in 1981, $1,250/year].Most of the rest of its funds come from individual and foundation contributors who have included the Djb Foundation, Florence V. Burden Foundation, Fund for Tomorrow, Glide Foundation, Rockefeller Family Fund, JDR III Foundation, Ottinger Foundation, Playboy Foundation, Shalan Foundation, Stern Fund, and Samuel Rubin Foundation.   According to Newsweek, CEP offered the eight companies advance copies of The Iron Triangle - at $250 each - an offer Boeing turned down with the question, "Why pay $250 to someone who's doing a hatchet job on you?"

More Sketches:

AFSC|ACLU|IPS|CNSS|Rhodes|Fulbright|CDI|FOR|NLG|FRB|Teacher Unions
Return Arrow

Return to Biographical Sketches of the Left