Ronald Reagan And The C.I.A.
While researching a post about Molly Ivins, PG stumbled onto a lovely site called Booknotes. ( Auto start warning. Nobody is perfect.) This site enables authors promoting their latest books. It seems to have gone out of business in December 2004, but the interviews are still available. PG likes to listen to “stuff” while he edits pictures, and Booknotes appears to be a treasure chest.
The multi tasking soundtrack last night was a chat with Hendrik Hertzberg, who is familiar to readers of The New Yorker. BTW, the majority of TNY readers live west of the Hudson River. Supposedly, the biggest number of readers is in California.
In 1965, Mr. Hertzberg was about to get drafted. At the time, this meant a one way ticket to Vietnam. Young men looked for alternatives to this, some of which were legal and moral. Mr. Hertzberg heard about an organization called the National Student Association. “And so I went to work after college for the National Student Association for a year. And it wasn`t just because the National Student Association was a wonderful cause that advanced liberal ideas and fought communism abroad and all of that sort of thing. Later, we learned that it was a CIA front, but I didn`t know that. What I did know was that if you worked for the National Student Association, you didn`t get drafted, that — it wasn`t exactly that you were deferred, but anyway, nobody got drafted while working for the National Student Association, so it was a way to have a year without worrying about getting drafted.”
The National Student Association has a facebook page, which one person likes. “The 1967 revelation of NSA’s ties to the Central Intelligence Agency sparked a national scandal, but did not measurably damage NSA.”
The CIA was involved in all sorts of things in those days. ( It still is today.) One of the fronts was Radio Free Europe. When PG was a kid, the cartoon shows had a commercial for Radio Free Europe. (It was different from the one embedded here.) These fund raising commercials were part of the scam. These commercials netted around $50k a year, out of a total budget of several million dollars. ( source )
Soon after the war stories, the conversation turns to religion/tribal allegiance. LAMB: Explain this. “The Nuremberg laws would say I`m Jewish. The Law of Return would say I`m not.” HERTZBERG: Well, according to the Nuremberg laws, if you have a — if you had a Jewish father, the Nazi classification, you were a Jew. But the Law of Return, where — what entitles you to citizenship, automatic citizenship in Israel, you`ve got to have to have a Jewish mother. So I`m Jewish one way, I`m not Jewish the other way. I guess I feel sort of 51 percent Jewish because my name, Hertzberg, sounds Jewish, and therefore, people respond to me, often assume that I`m … 100 percent Jewish.”
This conversation was in 2004, when BHO was a little known Senator. Today, BHO, who had a white mother, is routinely considered black. If you go by the laws of the Nazis, BHO is black. If you go by the laws of Israel, BHO is white.
Mr. Hertzberg took a break from journalism to write speeches for President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Hertzberg is a member of the Judson Wellover Society. HERTZBERG: Judson Wellover was the very first White House speech writer. Not the first person to write speeches, ghost write speeches for a president — that would probably be Alexander Hamilton for George Washington — but the first person who was ever hired just to write speeches in the White House was Judson Wellover. He was hired by Warren G. Harding, and he — it was such a matter — it was such a shameful thing to have somebody writing — hired to write speeches that they hid his salary in the budget of the White House garage. And when we started, when Bill Safire and I started the Judson — the society of sort of a marching and chatter society or dinner — we have a dinner every couple of years of White House speech writers from all administrations, we named it after Judson Wellover.
Warren Harding is credited/blamed for coining the phrase “founding fathers”. Was Mr. Wellover involved? Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The spell check suggestion for Hertzberg is Herbert. This is a repost.