Source: The Spotlight |

The ADL and the Great Sedition Trial

The role of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith in prompting the FBI's recent Project Megiddo report on potential Y2K "terrorism" has a frightening precedent in American history. This was the topic discussed on the Nov. 14 broadcast of The SPOTLIGHT's weekly call-in talk forum, Radio Free America, with host Tom Valentine.

Valentine's guest was SPOTLIGHT correspondent Michael Collins Piper, author of an article on "The Great Sedition Trial of 1944" in the January-February issue of the revisionist history magazine, The Barnes Review.

Piper described the little-known story of the criminal trial in which 30 Americans were tried on trumped-up charges of "sedition" brought by the Justice Department of President Franklin D. Roosevelt against his critics. The evidence shows that it was the ADL that actually provided the FBI the "evidence" used to bring the false charges against the defendants.

Today, the ongoing attacks against presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan bear a striking similarity to the attacks made against the so-called "seditionists" in 1944.

What follows is an edited transcript of the interview. Valentine's questions appear in boldface. Piper's responses are in regular text.

Few Americans have heard about the Great Sedition Trial of 1944.

You always hear about "McCarthyism" in high school, but you never hear about the sedition trial. The way history books describe World War II you would never know that 90 percent of the American people opposed getting involved in that war in the first place.

The Great Sedition Trial took place 55 years ago, but it is very applicable to what is happening today.

What we are seeing today with the attacks on Pat Buchanan in the press, but also with this Project Megiddo report issued by the FBI, is a reflection of the same mindset that led to the Great Sedition Trial.

 Judge Bolitha Laws called the Great Sedition Trial a "travesty on justice."

 That's right. Although the trial came to a halt in 1944, there were repeated attempts by the Justice Department to enter new indictments but the charges were ultimately thrown out. There were originally three indictments involving some 40 people but 30 people actually went to trial.

The case was brought under the guise of accusing these people of supposedly attempting to disrupt the military and undermine the war effort. In fact, the bottom line was that the one thing that all of these people had done was to criticize the role of the Jewish lobby in pushing for U.S. involvement in the war. They also attacked the numerous communists in the Roosevelt administration (many of whom, in fact, were Jewish.)

That's really why they were indicted. That's what the Great Sedition Trial was really all about. Sedition had nothing to do with it. What they were indicted for is what Pat Buchanan is being attacked for doing—criticizing the power of the Jewish lobby.

There is firm evidence the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith was the prime mover behind the FBI in the trial.

No question about it. In fact, one of the defendants, David Baxter, later went through the Freedom of Information Act and got the files that resulted in his indictment. He found that in a great many cases it was not the FBI that had conducted the investigation—it was the ADL. The FBI merely received the reports ADL investigators had prepared.

"One can hardly tell from the reports," Baxter said, "whether a given person is an FBI or an ADL agent. But at the time all of this was so hush-hush that I didn't expect the web-spinning going on around me. I hadn't considered myself that important."

It's a shame that Americans didn't learn a lesson in 1944 in regard to the ADL's role in feeding disinformation to the FBI (and the FBI willingly accepting it at face value). Using this same technique, the ADL stirred up the mindset that created Waco and Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma bombing and now they are behind this Project Megiddo report.

 A reporter from The Washington Post played a key role in the scheme by the ADL and the Justice Department.

 That's right. The defendants in the Great Sedition Trial were from all over the country, so the only way they could indict them was to link them to Washington, D.C., in order to get jurisdiction over them.

What happened was that this writer for The Washington Post named Dillard Stokes sent letters to the defendants asking them to send literature to him in Washington. His letters were written under an alias, "Jefferson Breem" (to hide his identity as a Post reporter) and the defendants responded as the ADL hoped.

On that basis, then, the Justice Department said: "Okay, their conspiratorial activities extended into the District of Columbia so therefore we can file charges against them here." And they did. The third and final indictment actually went to trial, charging these defendants with interfering with the war effort.

These people had been critics of FDR's efforts to get us into the war and they were critics of the U.S. wartime alliance with communist Russia, concerned that the Roosevelt administration was rife with Soviet agents during World War II, which indeed it was.

These people targeted by the ADL were dragged from their homes and brought to Washington to stand trial. Few of them had any money to defend themselves. Many of them were destitute and hardly influential at all.

That's what's so frightening. It could happen again today. Let's take the case of Pat Buchanan. He's probably the most prominent person today who reflects the America First sentiment, the very views of those who were put on trial in 1944.

People get nervous when I start talking about Israel, so let me put things in another context that won't scare as many people. Let's take the war on Serbia instead. Pat Buchanan opposed that war. A lot of people opposed that war. The SPOTLIGHT opposed that war. There were American troops in that war.

Under the same theory used to indict the sedition trial, Pat Buchanan and others could have been indicted because they were conspiring to undermine the war effort.

In the earlier Gulf War, Israel was our ally and it could have been alleged that Buchanan was attacking our ally by opposing the Gulf War just as in the sedition trial it was alleged the defendants were attacking "our great Soviet ally."

In the trial in 1944, the people charged had expressed views that were anti-Jewish or anti-communist or both. They weren't seditionists.

 The irony is that these people were indicted under a law designed to crack down on Soviet agents in the United States.

That's correct. The Smith Act of 1940 was passed to prevent communist infiltration of the American armed forces and many of the people indicted had actually called for enactment of the Smith Act in the first place.

In the sedition trial, the government was saying that since Soviet Russia was the war-time ally of the United States, if you said anything about communist Russia you were opposing our ally and that this was "sedition."

 FDR's own attorney general, Francis Biddle, didn't even want to bring these indictments.

 That's correct. However, FDR was pushing for it. The ADL was lobbying heavily behind the scenes. It was a fait accompli. The poor attorney general didn't have much choice.

 The lives of these innocent people were very much disrupted by these criminal charges. Describe what happened to Elmer Garner.

 Mr. Garner was 82 years old and he died one week after the trial opened, with 40 cents in his pocket, staying in a tiny rented room in a flophouse in Washington. He was found slumped over his typewriter, working on his defense. They shipped his body home to Kansas in a wooden box.

 Ironically, Elmer was a first cousin of FDR's two-term Vice President John Nance Garner of Texas. Old Mr. Garner's family was made destitute because of this. This old gentleman published a newsletter that hardly anyone read, but he was indicted and accused of trying to undermine the military.

Another defendant, Col. Eugene Sanctuary, was 73 years old. He and his wife had run the Presbyterian Church's foreign mission and he had written hymns and patriotic songs. In 1942, right before he was indicted, he had just published a song called "Uncle Sam, We Are Standing By You." That sounds really seditious to me.

Mrs. Elizabeth Dilling's son, Kirkpatrick, was in the U.S. Army and was actually promoted while his mother was under indictment. At the same time, publicist George Sylvester Viereck, another defendant, had a son killed in action as a U.S. soldier, while his father was sitting in jail, accused of trying to undermine the armed forces.

Another defendant, Frank Clark, was a highly decorated veteran of World War I, wounded eight times in action, and in the 1920s was an organizer of the World War I veteran's Bonus March to Washington, lobbying for veterans' bonuses.

As another defendant, Lawrence Dennis (a personal friend of The SPOTLIGHT's executive publisher Willis Carto) later said, it was possible that some of the defendants had taken action, in some way, designed to undermine the armed forces. However, the government charged that all of these defendants, working together, had conspired to under mine the armed forces. In fact, most of these defendants didn't even know each other.

 In addition, they were also charged with conspiring with Adolf Hitler.

Oh yes. This sedition trial was really a "black comedy." But it was tragic in so many ways. If Pat Buchanan had been speaking out in 1942-1944 as he is today, Buchanan would have been in line to be indicted.

Media reports today uniformly say, in shocked voices: "Why that Pat Buchan an sounds just like the America First Committee (AFC) prior to World War II. He says we shouldn't have fought Hitler. Isn't that shocking?" The ADL is "troubled" about this. They're always "troubled" about something.

Buchanan is saying precisely what a large majority of Americans believed then. Keep in mind the names of some of those who were supporting the AFC and whose own views reflected the views of those who were indicted in the sedition trial:

 John F. Kennedy, then a student at Harvard, gave a $100 contribution to the AFC. His brother Joe, who was later killed in the service, was a supporter, too.

 Gerald Ford, as a student at Yale, was an AFC supporter.

We know other big names such as Col. Charles Lindbergh, Gen. Hugh Johnson, Gen. Robert Wood (another friend of Willis Carto's). Big names from Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, "right wing" and "left wing." They were allied on the premise that the United States had no business getting involved in the war.

Those who were actually charged, though, with "sedition" were outspoken pamphleteers, newspaper and newsletter publishers, radio broadcasters.

They didn't bring Sens. Robert Taft, William Langer, Burton Wheeler or other big names to trial.

That's what was actually very clever about the way they orchestrated the Great Sedition Trial. FDR knew that he could not get away with indicting members of Congress, who had actually done things a lot more indictable than many of those who were indicted.

Elizabeth Dilling was indicted for reprinting a speech by Rep. Clare Hoffman (R-Mich.) on the floor of Congress. That's Orwellian.

I would call it Talmudic. You see, the sedition trial was designed to frighten the large majority of the population. The people indicted were outspoken people who wrote and spoke out in public forums. The real purpose of the trial was to warn the large number of Americans who agreed with the views of those who were indicted that if they, too, spoke out, they could also be indicted. The indictments were designed to frighten the great "silent majority" out there.

Fortunately, though, the members of Congress who were not indicted (but who could have been indicted) did not back off and attacked the sedition trial. To his credit, North Dakota's Sen. William Langer demonstrated his contempt for the Justice Department and the ADL by purposefully coming to the U.S. Courthouse each day to escort Mrs. Elizabeth Dilling in and out of the courtroom.

A major villain of the Great Sedition Trial was the Justice Department prosecutor, O. John Rogge.

Rogge went at it with a vengeance. He had visited communist Russia and was a friend of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. In Russia he laid a wreath on the grave of a founder of the Communist Party USA. He was later the attorney for David Greenglass, the atomic spy who saved his own life by turning states' evidence against his own sister and brother-in-law, the Rosenbergs, who most deservedly went to the electric chair.

The way the trial came to an end was because the judge died. At that point the defendants agreed that they would ask for a mistrial. A mistrial was declared, although Rogge continued to push for a new trial.

However, the war came to an end and FDR died. Although Rogge claimed he would be able to find evidence in the captured German archives that would prove the defendants had been conspiring with the Nazis, he never did.

While trying to revive the trial, Rogge went on a lecture tour paid for by—you guessed it—the ADL. That's how close he was to the ADL. However, in 1946, the Justice Department realized the case had gone far enough and Rogge was fired.

Afterward, Lawrence Dennis said that the ADL "simply did not appreciate the difficulties of railroading to jail their political enemies without evidence of any acts in violation of the law."

 There was a very interesting de fense attorney named Henry Klein who played a part in the trial.

 He was one of the most outspoken of the defense attorneys and he was Jewish. Some nervous types are probably thinking: "Well, what difference does that make?" That makes a difference because he was defending people who were accused of being anti-Jewish, and, in fact, many were. Nonetheless, Klein was concerned these people's liberties were being violated through this ADL police state operation.

He said in his opening statement: "We will prove that this persecution was instigated by so-called professional Jews who make a business of preying on other Jews by scaring them into the belief that their lives and property are in danger." He said the anti-Semitism charged in the indictment was a "racket run by racketeers for graft purposes." He was talking, of course, about the ADL.

 Famous broadcaster Walter Win chell played a major role in promoting the trial.

That's correct. Winchell was quite in fluential at that time and he was a front man for the ADL. Neil Gabler, a well-known Jewish-American writer, wrote a biography of Winchell and revealed that Arnold Forster, the head of the ADL's so-called "fact finding" division, actually drafted entire columns for Winchell and showed up at Winchell's station to edit his radio broadcasts.

Winchell was a conduit between the FBI and the ADL and provided the ADL's information to the FBI. But good patriotic Americans who heard Win chell's broadcasts about the so-called "seditionists" didn't know it was ADL propaganda wrapped in the American flag.

The ADL role behind the FBI in the sedition trial sounds like the role of the ADL in the FBI's Project Megiddo report.

The Project Megiddo report is basically a smear of a wide variety of groups, suggesting that when the calendar turns to 2000 that they are going to rise up and try to overthrow the government. The Nov. 15 issue of The SPOTLIGHT shows that Project Megiddo is no more than a re-write of materials originally put together by the ADL.

Now, as a consequence millions of Amer i cans are afraid when 2000 comes "hate groups" are going to be out in the streets trying to destroy America. (Actually, if truth be told, many of these "hate groups" are actually funded by the ADL and the FBI.)

The ADL's tone suggests the ADL hopes that there will be violence.

Well, it's been well documented that there have been various political groups that have committed violence but that the violence were prompted by agents sent into those groups by the FBI and the ADL. That's the problem. This gives the government itself the opportunity to crack down on freedom of expression in the name of combating "terrorism."

That raises this question: If we have violence at Y2K, how can we be sure the violence isn't being committed by an agent provocateur inside one of these groups?

By giving this kind of nonsense to the FBI that's now in Project Megiddo, which the FBI then parrots to the media and which the media then reports to the public, the ADL is creating public turmoil. It creates suspicion and drives wedges between people—between whites and blacks, between neighbors who know that the lady down the street is a militia member.

Don't forget that the character who heads the ADL's "fact-finding" division is Neil Herman, who recently retired from the FBI as head of the its "counterterrorism" division. He was also in charge of the FBI's investigation of the World Trade Center bombing. But Herman never reported what Jewish-American journalist Robert Friedman revealed in the Aug. 3, 1993, issue of The Village Voice: the likelihood that one of the Arabs involved in the bombing was more than likely a "mole" of Israel's Mossad.

Today the ADL and the FBI and the press are finding a Nazi or an anti-Semite or a Holocaust denier under every bed. You can't open up any major newspaper or, increasingly, any small town daily, without finding stories about "hate groups" and "the holocaust." It's a steady drumbeat. If Pat Buchanan's campaign picks up, we'll hear a lot more of it.

We just had the Bilderberg meeting here in Washington and Sandy Berger, the president's National Security advisor, spoke there. What Berger said was ominous. He said "it is urgent that in ternationalists find common ground around a common agenda of our own. We must learn to recognize when our beliefs are being threatened and we must defend them together."

That kind of language—using the term "threatened"—sounds somewhat paranoid. That's scary since this comes from the man who heads the National Security Agency of the United States and who controls the nation's spy mechanism that has access to our e-mails and our telephone calls and our fax ma chines. He's saying that—as he puts it "our beliefs," that the beliefs of the internationalists, the big banks, the ADL, all of these power blocs that make up the global elite—are, in his words, "being threatened" and "we must defend them together."

What does Berger have in mind when he says it is necessary to "defend" those beliefs? Does that include indicting people for sedition? Does that include increased spying on Americans? What does he mean?

Americans should never forget that their government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza-tion lied through their teeth repeatedly to justify the unjustified attack on Yugoslavia.

The attack, which was never authorized by the United Nations, was justified on "humanitarian grounds" to prevent a "human catastrophe" and "genocide." Why, those nasty old Serbs may have killed 100,000 Kosovars, U.S. politicians speculated. Finally, they seemed to accept the British estimate of 10,000 to 11,000 dead. The American press frenziedly reported these wild accusations and added their own.

Well, after months of being totally in control of Kosovo, guess how many bodies NATO has found? A tad more than 2,100. Some gravesites remain to be examined, but, because the worst were done first, the count isn't likely to go much higher.

Richard Gwyn, a columnist with The Toronto Star, was one of the first to report the discrepancy between NATO assertions and the evidence found so far. He cites a case in which NATO claimed that as many as 1,000 bodies had been dumped down a mine shaft. Then he reports that the International Criminal Tribunal reported the results of its investigation using Western forensic experts. How many bodies did they find in the mine shaft? Zero.

Like the soccer stadium at Pristina supposedly filled with Kosovar prisoners, according to our State Depart ment, the mine shaft was empty. There was no genocide. There was no human catastrophe. There was no second holocaust. It was all lies. Comparing a two-hour ride on a passenger train from Pristina to the border with World War II Jews being packed like sardines into cattle cars and shipped all the way across Europe was absurd on its face, but when the national press gets all lathered up in spreading propaganda, nothing is too absurd to report.

Now one might think that the American press, as it discovers it was lied to and used as a vehicle for propaganda, might be all over the story, exposing these lies and exaggerations. No, members of the press are using their typical tactic: When the facts refute their earlier stories, they simply lose interest in reporting it.

So you are probably unaware that, "under the protection of NATO," more than 100,000 Serbs have been forced out of Kosovo, and numerous Christian churches and monasteries have been destroyed or desecrated.

The kernel of the nut is that NATO lied to justify the attack, lied during the attack and lied about its intentions after the attack. Furthermore, NATO is denying aid to Yugoslavia on the grounds that Slobodan Milosevic is still in power, which is the pattern of U.S. and British behavior. After all, 500,000 Iraqi children have died because these toddlers refuse to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Imagine these kids not obeying the U.S. government.

In the first place, Milosevic was elected. Does NATO approve of democracy only when it likes the result of the vote? It seems so. In the second place, if there was no genocide, as there obviously was not, Milosevic is not a war criminal. It's true a lot of Serbs want to throw him out of office, but they are not mad at him for fighting to keep Yugoslavia intact. They are mad at him for losing the wars.

Apparently, though, Americans have become anesthetized to government lying. The American people are lied to all the time about all sorts of things, and it seems not to bother them. That is a sign of a dead society. We may not be a dead poets society, just a dead consumers society.

Oswald Spengler, in his Decline of the West (published in 1918), predicted the end of Western democracies in the 1990s. His timing might have been off a smidgen, but just a smidgen. In the meantime, chalk up Kosovo as one more example of the Big Lie about a genocide that never happened.

© 1999 King Features Syndicate