Liberalism And The CIA

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This editorial can be cited as “Liberalism And The CIA,” Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought 3, no. 1 (Winter, 1967): 26–27.

Page numbers appear in blue: 26, 27

In the wake of the scandal of the NSA, several points need to be highlighted.  In the first place, let all attacks cease forevermore on those of us who hold what has been universally smeared as the “conspiracy theory of history”: i. e., on those of us who believe in the laws of cause and effect, who believe that men do not act purposelessly and without motive, and who believe in using our intellects to trace connections and frame hypotheses in analyzing the world and not merely to record officially proclaimed events.  Secondly, let all attacks cease upon the “paranoia” of radicals; who’s “paranoid” now?

Even more profoundly, the NSA scandal provides illuminating and unforgettable insights into the workings of Liberalism as well as the workings of contemporary American society.  For example: the NSA leadership had decided two years ago to terminate the huge secret subsidies from the CIA because this was repugnant to “an open democratic society”, yet the subsidies were still being used when the scandal broke because, after all, “the CIA was financing a considerable portion of the association’s overseas activities and these could not be dropped suddenly.”1  Certainly not!  Despite the supposed yearnings for an “open democratic society”, the NSA leaders did not, of course, reveal the sordid story to the American public; instead, they were extremely anguished when the courageous [27] and indefatigable Ramparts magazine decided to break the story.  For: “our whole credibility has been based on the image that we are independent and left liberals.  Now everything we do or have done will be tainted whether we’re guilty or not.”  Yes, isn’t that a crying shame?  And the topper: “they expressed fears that it (the Ramparts story) would harm the liberal enlightened wing of the CIA and destroy NSA.”

So here we have it!  The “liberal enlightened wing of the CIA” indeed!  Here is the mentality of coalitionist Old Left Liberalism stripped bare and blazing in all of its glory.  This is the same mentality that would, if the Nazis were now in power, look to strengthen the “liberal” wing of Nazis under Goering so that bad old Goebbels or Streicher wouldn’t receive too much power.  This is the same mentality that would immediately search for the “moderates” in Murder, Incorporated.  The logic of Liberalism is pushed to its inexorable and shameless conclusion.

Such, then, is the face of Liberalism nakedly revealed for all to see.  Here are men—and youths—willing, just as the Egg of Head was depicted in Barbara Garson’s brilliant MacBird, to accept any conditions in exchange for working within the corridors of Power.  Here are men whining in terms of liberal rhetoric about the open society while they accept covert handouts and domination from America’s hired gang of patriotic thugs.  And, when found out, worried about their “image” and “credibility” and about the poor “liberal” wing of the CIA!  Sheldon Sachs, president of the student government at the City College of New York, expressed not only the Liberal creed but the larger American Credo as well; in commenting on the affair he called it “grossly exaggerated”: “The funds have to come from somewhere.”  Yes, don’t they?

Also illuminating is the revelation of the role of supposedly private and independent and charitable tax-exempt foundations in serving as covert conduits for CIA money.  This sort of thing needs extensive investigation; part of it was revealed a few years ago in the pioneering work The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas Ross, but obviously this was only the beginning of study of the problem.

Above all, let us carry away from this affair the insight that, to put it baldly and bluntly, Liberalism is, in essence, a front for the CIA!




1 New York Times, February 15, 1967, p. 18.