Monday, March 31, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 14

A “Status Report on Jason-East Project No. 2” of Columbia’s IDA was then sent to IDA President Taylor, IDA Vice-President Ruina and Harvard University Graduate School of Public Administration Associate Dean Kaysen on July 19, 1967, which reported the following:

“By the end of last summer, a group of Jason-East members had submitted a report to Secretary McNamara concerning certain communication problems in Southeast Asia. You are all familiar enough with the specifics of this problem, so I will leave them out of the present memorandum. The Group consisted of

Robert Duffy, Colonel, USAF (DDR&E)
Giulio Fermi, IDA
Peter Freck, IDA
Waulter Hausz, GE-Temp
A.G. Hill, M.I.T.
Norman Taylor, A.D. Little
George Wheeler, BTL

The report and its recommendations were accepted by the Secretary and by Mr. McNaughton (ISA) and Dr. Foster (DDR&E), accepted with some reservations by NSA, and received most enthusiastically by the Army Security Agency and its commander, Maj. Gen. Denholm, who immediately decided to do the job on behalf of Gen. Westmoreland, whose blessings they quickly received.

“In the manner of things pentagonal, the Air Force felt that it should have been chosen as the operating agency, and the ensuing fuss caused some delays in the project, but not by more than 2-3 months.

“Gen. Denholm managed to have assigned to ASA a number of Navy P2V’s, of which 5 have been completely refurbished, including the addition of two jet engines, and fitted with the proper electronic gear.

“These five aircraft were refitted by the Convair Division of General Dynamics at San Diego and for the past month have been undergoing operational field testing in the environs of Fort Huachuca. The performance of General Dynamics in this aircraft modification was an outstanding piece of work.

“Even more outstanding was organization within ASA, mostly under Lt. Col. Patrick Ulmen, in the organization of the entire project, in selling it to the Army, the Joint Chiefs, and COMUS MCVEE, and in the operational tests in and near Fort Huachuca, which were extremely worthy.

“Colonel Duffy, Dr. Wheeler and the writer observed some of these tests and the final special equipment early this month.

“It is now thought likely that the equipment and, more importantly, the men to go with it, will be in a full state of readiness in Southeast Asia in early July.

“Occasionally things happen.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 15

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 13

In early March 1967, I accidentally discovered that Columbia University was an institutional member of the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], that Columbia University President Grayson Kirk was a member of both the IDA board of trustees and the IDA executive committee and that Columbia University professors Lederman, Foley and Koopman were members of IDA’s Jason Division of U.S. university professors who engaged in secret weapons technology research for the war in Vietnam. In late March or early April 1967, the Columbia-Barnard chapter of Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] then first formally demanded that the Columbia University Administration resign its institutional membership in IDA.

But on April 7, 1967, Brigadier General Deputy Commander Wesley Franklin of the Department of the Army’s U.S. Army Security Agency wrote a letter to the head of the Jason Project No. 2 group, MIT Professor Hill, which stated:

“Dear Dr. Hill,
“As you are aware, the work initiated on the basis of recommendations from your study group of the Jason-East program is fast culminating in an operational system. General Dynamics is now in the systems check out phase of CRAZY CAT fabrication.

“I invite you to visit the General Dynamics plant in San Diego to be updated on our progress in implementing your recommended program…

“We would also like you to review our systems test program and to visit Fort Huachuca during the systems operational test phase, which is scheduled 1 May through 9 June.”

MIT Professor Hill then wrote a letter on April 13, 1967 to General Maxwell Taylor (a former president of the Upper West Side's Lincoln Center and a former U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam), who was IDA’s president at the time of the 1968 Columbia Student Revolt, which stated:

“Dear Max:

“…Last summer you were kind enough to express some interest in my part of Jason-East, and I thought you would like to know that the special aircraft for this exercise are even now being completed in San Diego.

“Our last conversations I believe concerned getting support from your member universities in finding good people and sending them to you…”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 14

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 12

At the same time that Hill’s Jason-East Project No. 2 group of Columbia’s IDA was working with the U.S. Army Electronic Command at Fort Monmouth to develop the electronic battlefield weapons technology for use in Indochina, other members of IDA’s Jason Division were working with the Pentagon’s Defense Communications Planning Group to develop the other components required for Defense Secretary McNamara’s proposed electronic barrier project in Indochina. As The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner recalled:

“The task force was called the Defense Communications Planning Group, or DCPG…Its adjunct Scientific Advisory Committee included…a reasonable fraction of Jasons: Richard Garwin, Murph Goldberger, Val Fitch, Gordon MacDonald, Henry Kendall, Charles Townes, Bill Nierenberg, Hal Lewis, and probably others; Kistiakowsky was the committee’s chairman. It reported directly to McNamara.”

One of the members of this Scientific Advisory Committee to the Defense Communications Planning Group in 1966-67 was Columbia University Professor and the Director of Columbia University’s Watson IBM Lab, Richard Garwin. Another member of this Scientific Advisory Committee was former Columbia University Professor of Physics Charles Townes.

For secrecy reasons, the “Defense Communications Planning Group’ that Columbia Professor Garwin worked with changed its name on June 13, 1967 to “Illinois City.” For secrecy reasons, it again changed its name in July 1967 to “Dye Marker.” Then, in September 1967, the Pentagon and IDA Jason Division-conceived air-supported sensor barrier project’s code-name was again changed; this time to “Muscle Shoals.” By June 1968, the electronic barrier project code-name had been changed yet another time, to “IGLOO WHITE.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 13

Friday, March 28, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 11

By October 14, 1966, the initial equipment that the Jason East Project No. 2 group of Columbia’s IDA had developed, for the Pentagon’s electronic battlefield in Indochina, had been delivered to the U.S. Army Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. The Jersey firm that produced and shipped the equipment that the Jason Division members had designed was Squires-Sanders, Inc.. MIT Professor Hill then wrote an Oct. 20, 1966 letter to Laurance Rockefeller (who also sat on the IDA board of trustees between Columbia University Trustee Burden and Columbia University President Grayson Kirk in the 1960s) which stated:

“Dear Laurance:
“This summer I was associated with a special IDA project operating in the Cambridge area and concerned with certain Southeast Asia problems. My particular piece of it seems to have been accepted, and some of the requisite hardware has already been fabricated.”

Coincidentally, an associate of former IDA Trustee Laurance Rockefeller, Randall P. Marston, sat on the board of directors of the Squires Sanders, Inc. firm that was awarded the initial $43,000 war contract to produce the initial hardware for the electronic battlefield project, that Jason East Project No. 2 of Columbia’s IDA was designing under MIT Professor Hill’s leadership.

In an Oct. 20, 1966 letter to Charles Fontaine, former IDA Vice-President and Director of Research Hill also reported that his Jason East Project No. 2 group had demonstrated the possibility of “a new type of military electronics operation.” Besides Hill, the Jason East Project No. 2 group then included Princeton University Professor Richard Leibler, George Wheeler and M. Paul Wilson of Bell Telephone Labs, Leonard Sheingold of Sylvania, Burton Bruno and Walter Hausz of General Electric and Bruno Augenstein of IDA.

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 12

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 10

After receiving and looking over the IDA weapons research report that resulted from the Jason Division’s summer 1966 session of developing new weapons technology for use in Indochina, U.S. Secretary of Defense McNamara “helicoptered in to meet with Jason and the Cambridge Group for the last time” on Sept. 7, 1966 “at Zacharias’ summer home on Cape Cod,” according to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. At this Sept. 7, 1966 meeting between these IDA-linked U.S. university professors, “Deitchman and Kistiakowsky explained the plan to McNamara” and “maps of Southeast Asia were spread out in the living room,” according to the same book.

The Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS book also revealed what else happened in September 1966:

“The Jasons…pushed for a follow-on contract…They recommended that the Pentagon follow up the `Summer Study’ with a full-time task force…They...noted that IDA, by virtue of its…location and experience, seemed a suitable place to manage this effort.

“McNamara bit. On September 15[1966] he appointed Air Force Lieutenant Alfred Starbird as head of Joint Task Force 728, which would develop the barrier…”

By September 1966, members of the “Jason East Project No. 2” group also had begun to work even more closely with the Pentagon’s Electronic Warfare Task Group to immediately start developing the electronic battlefield for use in Indochina. Some of this electronic battlefield development work was apparently done at the U.S. Air Force’s Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. An Aug. 30, 1966 letter from MIT Professor and former IDA Vice-President and Director for Research Hill to the Commander of the Electronic Systems Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force Major General J.W. O.Neill, for example, states:

“Dear Jack,
“In retrospect, I think we had a very successful summer and although we worked hard, I think the group of us who worked at Building 1521 really enjoyed the task and the surroundings.”

MIT Professor Hill was apparently the chairman of a special group that Secretary of Defense McNamara had set up, as an additional part of the “Jason-East” group, to work, especially, with the Chief of the Pentagon’s Electronic Warfare Branch, Morten Roney.

A Sept. 20, 1966 memorandum from the Pentagon’s Tactical Control & Surveillance Systems Assistant-Director John Klotz to the Pentagon’s Director of Research and Engineering, Dr. Foster, on the subject “Meeting Between East Jason Group and Electronic Warfare Task Group” also noted:

“I arranged for a session on 13 September 1966 between the Jason East Group (Hill) and the Electronic Warfare Task Group (Fubini). Rear Admiral F.A. Bardshar of the JCS also attended the meeting.

“Dr. Hill briefed the Electronic Warfare Task Group on the activities under review by his Group and answered questions pertaining to use and implementation of equipment.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 11

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 9

A follow-up study to its June 1966 Wellesley, Massachusetts gathering was also held by Jason East members on the East Coast in July 1966. As an MIT professor named Albert Hill wrote in a July 11, 1966 letter to Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton:

“I should like to report that our special project got underway as scheduled on Wednesday, July 6, and I believe I can say we are beginning to come to grip with the problems.”

According to an Aug. 1, 1966 list of “Jason East Participants,” Columbia Professor Leon Lederman also attended the July-August “special project” follow-up session on the East Coast in 1966, as did Columbia University Professor and Columbia University IBM Watson Laboratory Director Richard Garwin and Columbia University Professor I.I. Rabi. Other U.S. scientists, U.S. academics or Pentagon officials whose names appeared on the Aug. 1, 1966 list of “Jason East Participants” were the following folks:

James Armstrong of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Delbert Arnold of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Bruno Augenstein of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Divison;
Hendrik Bode, a Bell Telephone Labs Vice-President;
Albert Bottoms of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Burton Brown of General Electric Company;
Chester Cooper of IDA;
E.E. David Jr. of Bell Telephone Labs;
S.J. Deitchman of IDA;
Col. Robert Duffy of the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Office;
Giulio Fermi of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Peter Freck of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Charles Fritz of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Eugene Fubini, an IBM Vice-President;
Murry Gell-Mann of California Institute of Technology;
Marvin Goldberger of Princeton University;
Donald Glaser of the University of California-Berkeley’s Virus Lab;
Daniel Gould of MIT;
Walter Hausz of General Electric;
Albert Hill of MIT;
David Katcher of IDA;
William Kaufmann of MIT;
Carl Kaysen of Harvard University;
Henry Kendall of MIT;
George Kistiakowsky of Harvard University;
Robert Kulinyi of Fort Monmouth;
Charles Lauritsen of California Institute of Technology;
Thomas Lauritsen of California Institute of Technology;
John Lawson of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Richard Leibler of IDA;
Harold Lewis of the University of California-Santa Barbara;
Franklin Lindsay of Itek;
Franklin Long, a Cornell University Vice-President;
Gordon MacDonald of UCLA;
William Matthews of MIT;
Peter Metz of MIT;
John Moriarty of IDA;
Walter Morrow of MIT’s Lincoln Labs;
Joseph Navarro of IDA;
William Nierenberg of the University of California-San Diego/La Jolla;
Alan Peterson of the Stanford Research Institute;
Emanuel R. Piore of IBM;
John Pontaro of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Edward Purcell of Harvard University;
Ellis Rabben of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
George Rothjens Jr. of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division;
Jack Ruina of IDA;
Col. Sanders of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and IDA;
Matthew Sands of Stanford University;
Oliver Selfridge of MIT’s Lincoln Labs’
Leonard Sheingold of the Sylvania Corporation;
Eugene Skolinikoff of MIT;
Norman Taylor of Arthur Little;
Clark Thurston of MIT;
Leonard Weinstein of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Group’
George Wheeler of Bell Telephone Labs;
Jerome Wiesner, the Dean of Science of MIT;
E. B. Wilson of Harvard University;
Maurice Wilson of Bell Telephone Labs;
Jerold Zaharias of MIT;
Frederick Zachariasen of the California Institute of Technology; and
George Zweig of the California Institute of Techonology.

According to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner, the Jason East group apparently completed their report during July and early August 1966 that designed “specific types of mines and bombs” and “suggested the aircraft appropriate for dropping, orbiting and striking” and again met at Dana Hall Girls School in Wellesley, Massachusetts on Aug. 15, 1966. Then, on Aug. 30, 1966, “Nierenberg, Deitchman, Kistiakowsky, Ruina, Jerome Wiesner and Jerrold Zacharias met with Robert McNamara and presented their report,” according to the same book.

In their 1987 book Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS, Bob Brewin and Sydney Shaw also described what happened after the July and August 1966 summer meetings of Columbia’s IDA Jason Division:

“the IDA’s Jason division…on August 30, 1966 sent McNamara the results of their `Summer Study,’ which determined that `In the realities of Vietnam…the barrier must be imposed and maintained mainly by air.’

“This report, based on the research of M.Goldberger and W. Nierenberg, put a twentieth-century high-tech spin on the age-old concept of a wall…

“…As the Jasons planned it, the air-supported…barrier would consist of two parts, an anti-foot-traffic barrier and an anti-vehicular barrier, each backed by its own system of sensors and weapons…

“The Jasons…proposed `seeding’ a variety of unique munitions along the [Ho Chih Minh] Trail, lying in wait for an unsuspecting foe. These included `button bomblets,’ aspirin-sized explosives designed more to activiate the sensors when stepped on than to cause casualties. The bomblet was backed up by…irregular-shaped antipersonnel mines…

“Finally, the Jasons proposed that vehicular traffic detected by the sensors should be attacked with SADEYE-BCU26B cluster bombs…”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 10

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 8

The month after its June 1966 Wellesley, Massachusetts summer study, the Jason Division of Columbia’s IDA held a follow-up weapons development research study session in Santa Barbara, California, related to helping the Pentagon wage its war against the Vietnamese people, in July and August of 1966. During this July and August “Jason Division West” summer study meeting, Columbia University Professor Henry Foley apparently resided in Room 8229 of a college dormitory while attending the Jason Division’s summer session; and Columbia University Professor and Director of Columbia’s Nevis Labs Leon Lederman apparently was assigned Room 8323 for his dormitory room.

The following other U.S. academics or IDA staff people also apparently attended the July and August 1966 Jason meeting in Santa Barbara: Joel Bengston; James Bjorken; Richard Blankenbecler; David Caldwell; Kenneth Case; Nicholas Christofiles; Earl Crisler; Roy Cook; Paul Cusick Jr.; Roger Dashen; Seymour Deitchman; Ray Dow; Freeman Dyson; Inise Eichorst; Val Fitch; Kathryn Fitch; Murray Gell-Mann; Mervin Goldberger; Roland Herbert; David Katcher; Henry Kendall; T. Lauritsen; Robert Levin; Harold Lewis; Nicholas Laske; Harris Mayer; Gordon MacDonald; William Nierenberg; Scott Payne; Allen Peterson; Albert Petschof; Malvin Ruderman; Matthew Sands; John Simerson; Samuel Treiman; Kenneth Watson; Steven Weinberg; Ronald Weiner; Herbert York; Fredrick Zachariasen; and George Zweig.

As The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner revealed, “they met off the Pacific coast, at the University of Santa Barbara, on the upper floor of a dormitory.” The Jasons also revealed that during the summer of 1966, “Val Fitch and Leon Lederman designed what they called pencil mines: little projectiles that looked like ballpoint pens…”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 9

Monday, March 24, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 7

During the June 13 to June 25, 1966 Jason Summer Study of Columbia’s IDA, the U.S. university scientists more concretely developed the concept of the electronic battlefield. As The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner noted in 2002:

“The scientists sat around a table on the grounds, `one fine afternoon,’ said Seymour Deitchman, an IDA engineer with experience in Vietnam who was working with Jason; they talked about sensors and aircraft and electronics and `sketched out the general outlines of an electronic barrier system.’…

“…What is clear is that the…Jason study on the sensor barrier became the prototype for the modern electronic battlefield and arguably changed the way war is waged…”

The 1985 book Heavy Losses by James Coates and Michael Kilian also observed:

“…The group became the driving force involved with a number of controversial research projects during the Vietnam War…

“…The Jasons…advocated…using some fiendishly deadly new antipersonnel weapons…The Jasons dreamed up an arsenal of fantastic new killer weapons every bit as horrible as anything ever created by the Pentagon research and engineering section.

“…At that meeting and in successive conferences, the Jasons developed a plan for sowing sensors and deadly `bomblets’ across a strip of Vietnam eighty miles long and fifteen miles wide. A similar strip would be laid out along the border between Vietnam and Laos.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 8

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 6

The 1966 Jason East Summer Study in Wellesley, Massachusetts began at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 13, 1966 with a talk by Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton on the “Framework” for the two-week summer meeting. After a 1 p.m. lunch break, C. Thomsson of RAND, G. Parker of RAND, G. Tanham of RAND and George Carver of the CIA led a discussion on “General Background, South and North Vietnam,” between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Following refreshments at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m., an evening session was held in which the three RAND representatives and the CIA representative continued the afternoon session’s discussion of “General Background, South and North Vietnam.”

The following morning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14, 1966, the Director of the Pentagon’s Research and Development, John Foster, and the Pentagon’s Assistant Director of Tactical Warfare Programs, Leonard Sullivan, led a discussion on “Research & Development,” before breaking for lunch at 12:30 p.m. The next day, at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 1966, the Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Lt. General A.J. Goodpaster, led a discussion with the U.S. university professors who were members of IDA’s Jason Division on “Military Operations,” before again breaking for lunch at 12:30 p.m. The discussion of “Military Operations” continued after lunch at 2 p.m. But the afternoon session’s discussion on June 15, 1966 was led by the Assistant Commander for the U.S. Marine Corps, Lt. General Richard Mangrum.

The next day began with a talk, at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 16, 1966, by General Harold K. Johnson, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, who also spoke on the topic of “Military Operations.” After a 12:30 lunch break, the discussion on “Military Operations” that General Johnson was leading resumed at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Following a 6:30 pm dinner break, the U.S. university professors attending the Jason Division weapons research summer study at Wellesley were addressed at 8 p.m. by the U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary and Vietnam Coordinating Commission Chairman Leonard Unger on the topic “Political Framework.”

The following morning, at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 1966, Colonel Cutler of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) led a discussion on “North Vietnam and Related Subjects,” until the lunch break. When the Jason Division professors reconvened at 2 p.m., the discussion about “North Vietnam and Related Subjects” was continued, although the afternoon discussion was now led by either George Carver of the CIA or Peer de Silva of the CIA. On Saturday, June 18, 1966 at 9 a.m., the Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development [A.I.D.], Rutherford Ponts, also led a discussion on “Pacification.”

There was no formal schedule of lectures during the second week of the 1966 Jason Summer Study meeting at Wellesley, Massachusetts. But at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 1966, a general who was the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force led a discussion on “Military Operations;” and at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 1966, the Vice-Chair of U.S. Naval Operations, Admiral Horacio Rivero also spoke on “Military Operations” when the U.S. professors who were members of the Jason Division reconvened. In addition, during the second week of the 1966 Wellesley Jason Division summer study of Columbia’s IDA, Johnson Administration national security affairs adviser McGeorge Bundy, CIA official Komer and IDA President Maxwell Taylor were all scheduled to speak to the U.S. university professors at evening sessions.

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 7

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 5

The U.S. university professors who were “Jason-East Participants” were sent a memorandum on Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] stationery from D.H. Gould of M.I.T. on June 3, 1966, on the subject “June Meetings” which stated:

“The two-week session will run from Monday, 13 June through Saturday, 25 June, at Dana Hall.

“Dana Hall is a girls’ school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. We have obtained exclusive use of Johnston Hall, a quadrangle of new, air-conditioned dormitories, as well as the adjacent Library building. We will assign each of the local participants a room in the dormitories for working space. The Library building will be used for briefings, meetings, group working space, and will house the administrative staff. The meeting spaces are all air-conditioned.

“We plan to serve breakfast and lunch to the participants in a nearby building, Monday through Saturday.

“Enclosed are directions and a map which will help you find Dana Hall if you are driving.

“We have settled on a consulting fee of $150 a day for those participants who are able to accept a fee. Please let me know if this is appropriate in your case and I will make the necessary arrangments.

P.S. Dr. Zacharias enthusiastically recommends Malcolm Browne’s book, “The New Face of War”.

Prior to arriving at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts for the June 1966 Jason Division summer study of Columbia's IDA, the U.S. university professors were also issued a document, titled "Institute for Defense Analyses, Project Jason East 1966: Standard Practices and Procedures for Security", which stated:

"The 1966 Jason East Study is located at Dana Hall School, Wellesley, Massachusetts...Jason East Projet members and IDA employees have been granted Top Secret security clearances...Guards will be on duty at the open entrance to the project building on a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week basis...As a General Statement, the importance of complete control of all classified material cannot be overemphasized..."

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 6

Friday, March 21, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 4

On April 15, 1966 MIT Professor of Physics J.R. Zacharias then mailed out the following invitation to at least one of the U.S. university professors who was a member of IDA’s Jason Division, along with a “partial proposed list” that included the names of former Columbia University Professor Townes and Columbia University professors Garwin, Lederman and Rabi:

“A group of us have been discussing with the Department of Defense the possibility of conducting a special study of the military and technological options open to the U.S. in Vietnam. The original impetus stemmed from the obvious concern with the poor progress and rapid escalation of the war…Our hope is that by re-examining the present military tactics, especially in the light of technological opportunities that may not have been adequately considered, military alternatives might emerge that would be less costly and more likely to lead to a political solution.

“The Department of Defense has shown strong interest in our conducting such a study, and discussions with the Department are now under way. A steering committee for the study will include Carl Kaysen, George Kistiakowsky, Jerome Wiesner, Eugene Skolnikoff and myself. Tentative plans call for a session from June 13 to 25, a break for staff work and other studies, followed by another two-week session late in July. The possibility exists of a third two-week period late in August if needed. Financial and administrative arrangements are being handled by D.H. Gould, Room 8-407 at M.I.T….There will be more information forthcoming on these subjects later.

“I hope you can manage to arrange your schedule so that you can take part in the study. Please call me when you get a chance…Meanwhile, I will try to call you.

“We are planning an exploratory discussion meeting of the group on Wednesday, May 4, at M.I.T. and would be very pleased if you could join us. The meeting will be held in the Penthouse of the M.I.T. Faculty Club, 50 Memorial Drive, at 9:00 a.m.

“I would appreciate your keeping information about this study confidential.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 5

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 3

An April 13, 1966 “Draft Proposal,” marked “Private,” that was written up by the Cambridge Study group professors indicates the Vietnam War-related purpose of the 1966 Jason Division Summer Study of Columbia’s IDA. In its “Preamble,” for example, the “Draft Proposal” states:

“The continuing struggle in Vietnam has rapidly become this nation’s dominant military and foreign policy concern…

“The growing seriousness…of the Vietnam War naturally leads scientists and engineers, especially those with long experience in weapons development and military strategy, to ask whether there are technological opportunities that could contribute substantially to the achievement of the nation’s objectives in Vietnam. In particular, questions arise as to whether technological innovations are feasible to reduce the cost or speed the fulfillment of the present military strategy, and whether technology applied to alternative military strategies might make some other options more attractive by virtue of being less costly in lives and resources without impairing achievement of political objectives.

“A group of scientists and engineers who have been involved in military/technical analyses in the past at the Defense Department and the White House are preparing to conduct a special short-term study to examine these questions in depth, with a view to making specific recommendations to the Department of Defense.”

The April 13, 1966 “Draft Proposal” then listed the specific “objectives” of the 1966 Jason Division Summer Study of Columbia’s IDA:

“1. To determine if there are possible technological innovations in military weapons and practices that could enhance the probability of achieving military objectives, consistent with our political objectives, in Vietnam at lower cost; and

“2. As a necessary concomitant to the first objective, to make an estimate of the costs and effectiveness of the present military tactics and of possible military options, especially in the light of feasible technological innovations.

“The kinds of military options that should be considered in the light of the nation’s political objectives include:

“1. increase of American military power and pressure to force the withdrawal of the N.L.F. and Viet Cong;

“2. continuation of roughly the existing level of confrontation;

“3. reduction of American and Vietnamese military action with a view to limiting the military objective to the guarantee of the protection of `free zones’; and

“4. variations of the latter to include ranges from fluid, active defenses of free zones and to static perimeter defenses.

“Technological possibilities will have to be examined in areas such as: interdiction of communication and transportation, reconnaissance, geographical barriers (the possibility of `sealing off’ South Vietnam); weapons systems; military and civilian personnel protection; and others.

“The general intention will be to identify new or existing military and technological opportunities, to estimate their cost and usefulness against the costs and effectiveness of present strategy and weapons, and to recommend further action or policies for the Department of Defense in the light of these estimates.”

Finally, the April 13, 1966 “Draft Proposal” described its “Plan for the Study” by the Jason Divison of Columbia’s IDA:

“It is planned to bring together a group of up to (or less than) fifty scientists and engineers for two weeks in mid-June, 1966, two weeks in the latter part of July, and if necessary two weeks in the latter part of August. These intensive two-week periods will be preceded by and interspersed with occasional one-day meetings and by directed staff work. In addition, a steering committee of roughly six scientists and engineers will meet regularly to formulate the concepts and guide the deliberations.

“Some early briefings may be held in Washington; the bulk of activity will take place in the Cambridge area.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 4

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 2

Carl Kaysen was the Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs in the Democratic Kennedy Administration between 1961 and 1963. Coincidentally, Kaysen also was an Associate Dean at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Public Administration between 1960 and 1966.

After it became evident to many U.S. academics that the Democratic Johnson Administration’s policy of escalating the Vietnam War in early 1965 by starting to bomb North Vietnam on a regular basis had failed to achieve a quick victory in Vietnam for the U.S. war machine, Harvard University Graduate School of Public Administration Associate Dean Kaysen visited U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at the Pentagon. As Power and Promise: The Life and Times of Robert McNamara by Deborah Shapley recalled in 1993:

“McNamara was looking for `fresh’ ideas when he returned from Vietnam in November [1965], and he was handed one in particular—for a technological `barrier’—that would play a major part in his attempt to redirect the war…Carl Kaysen, who had worked in John Kennedy’s White House…recalls visiting McNamara twice in December 1965 in his office.

“It was common for leading university scientists and other experts to work on military problems during war…In Cambridge in 1965, there evolved a `floating crap game,’ Kaysen says, involving a few Harvard and M.I.T. faculty—some with formal Pentagon ties and some without—to brainstorm on ways to resolve the war…Thus the idea arose of the `electronic fence,’ or `barrier.’…

“Perhaps America’s technology could be used to advantage in the jungle after all, Kaysen’s group told McNamara in December. A string of new devices—tiny sensors that detected footfalls, air-dropped mines, remotely guided air and ground fire—could be installed starting on the coast, following the 17th parallel, running inland and continuing straight on across the waist of Laos…

“The plan for the barrier went forward in secret. Scientists in a secret group called the Jason Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses would bring in parallel studies to McNamara by the fall of 1966…”

Former Harvard University Dean Kaysen also stated in the book Jerry Wiesner: Scientist, Statesman, Humanist—Memories and Memoirs:

“In late 1965 and early 1965, Jerry [Wiesner], [MIT Professor] George Kistiakowsky, and I persuaded McNamara to support a summer study in Cambridge with the purpose of finding more effective ways than bombing…”

McNamara then “wrote back to the Cambridge group asking that their summer study examine the feasibility of…night vision devices, defoliation techniques and area-denial weapons,” according to the book The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. The same book also noted that:

“To set up their summer study, the Cambridge group called Jack Ruina, who was now president of IDA. `I got a call either from George Kistiakowsky or Jerry Wiesner or one of those guys,’ Ruina said. `Zacharias maybe. So what were they talking? They said, “We would like to have a study on a Vietnam issue and would you be willing to set up a study so it would be an IDA study.”’ IDA, with its academic trustees and its highly placed Defense Department customers, was a natural for the Cambridge group.”

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 3

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 1

The purpose of the Project Jason group of U.S. university professors that Columbia University’s Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] weapons research think-tank set up in the late 1950s was described by Princeton University Professor John Wheeler in the following way, in a Dec. 11, 1963 letter to former IDA Vice President and Director of Research Albert Hill:

“Project Jason of the Institute for Defense Analyses has served as one mechanism to draw a new generation into defense issues. It has had the great advantage of making defense work seem to scientists not as a second rate activity, as it is often regarded in other countries, but as something deserving the attention of the very best minds.”

On Friday, Oct. 20, 1961 at 1710 H Street NW in Washington, D.C., for example, the Jason Division of Columbia’s IDA held the initial session of its annual Fall meeting. At 9:00 a.m., Seymour Deitchman of IDA’s RESD Division spoke and led a discussion about “Problems of Limited War.” Then, at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Michael May spoke and led a discussion about “Limited War Technology.” After a lunch break, the U.S. university professors who were members of the Jason Division then heard Richard DuBois of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Division speak and lead a discussion at 3:30 p.m. on “Carrier Tactical Forces Through 1963.”

The following morning at 9:00 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 21, 1961, Dr. M. Ruderman and Columbia University Professor of Physics Henry Foley, both members of the Jason Division, began the second day’s session of Jason’s annual Fall meeting by leading a discussion on “Midas.” Then at 1:00 p.m., former Columbia Professor of Physics Charles Townes led a discussion on “CORWA.” And the second day’s session ended with a 2:45 p.m. discussion led by Dr. Paul Hansen of IDA’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Group on the “Tactical Aircraft Penetration Study.”

The Jason Division of Columbia’s IDA also held a summer weapons research study session between June 14, 1965 and July 30, 1965 in Building N. 3614 at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts during the 1960s. Half of the Pentagon weapons researchers attending this summer Jason Division meeting were ARPA, RAND and IDA staff employees and half of the attendees were U.S. university professors who were Jason Division members. Besides former Columbia University Professor Townes, the steering committee for the 1965 Jason summer study session included Columbia Professor or Physics Henry Foley, Columbia Professor of Physics Leon Lederman and Columbia Professor Richard Garwin, who also directed Columbia’s IBM Watson Laboratory.

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 2

Monday, March 17, 2008

Some Poems From The 1970s, 1980s & Early 1990s

Written during the late 1970s, the 1980s and early 1990s, these poems might reflect some of the historical mood of those decades:

The Forgotten Majority

We speak for the Forgotten Majority.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority of the 1980s that refuses to vote for new dictators in the media-rigged elections.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that owns no stock in the exploitative corporations of the USA.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority which lives in poverty and either walks the streets without jobs or is locked in 9 to 5 slavery in offices or factories that pay wages too low.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that can’t afford next month’s rent for a slum apartment and can’t afford the price of a new house or a new condo and must move from old neighborhoods because the rent has been gentrified.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that is denied jobs, housing, and an adequate standard of living because of colonialism, neo-colonialism and racial discrimination.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that the capitalist patriarchy oppresses and exploits.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that opposes the Pentagon’s war moves in Central America, Europe and the Middle East, but is excluded from mass media access.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that wants an end to the oppression of gay men and lesbians and an end to the rule of Democratic and Republican Party politicians and their white capitalist allies.

We speak for the Forgotten Majority that demands its freedom now!

Target Nicaragua

They’re lining up the robots and the troops
The mass media cheerleaders are telling us why we should be thankful
The jackasses and bird-brains are trying to manage the flesh and blood and minds and spirits of the acid-opened-up people
The Catholic Church is pumping out more leaflets from central headquarters
In the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost and the Vatican, Inc.
The Russian-American intellectuals are conspiring on the mattress with the women refugees from the wife-beaters.

The covert aggressors are overtly murdering civilians with U.S. guns in Nicaragua.

The Pentagon is drawing up the bombing plans and ordering a new supply of napalm.

The ghost of Walt Whitman is marching through the academic departments and crying out: “Stop the bull-shit!”

The professors are developing more weapons
The homeless are herded into the armories
The students are studying computers
The people in Nicaragua are preparing for the worst
The CIA has issued a new secret plan of aggression
“Target Nicaragua.”

Summer 1983

To be old and unpublished and poor
In the USA
Makes you wonder what the point is
Of writing another unrecorded song
Or unpublished novel
Or unmarketable non-fiction.
You're just a slave, obviously,
Trapped in those 9 to 5 coffins
With other slaves who don't know they're slaves
While the pigs rip everyone off
And the middle-class lefties preach left gradualism from their soft middle-class job slots
And middle-class gatekeepers with middle-class critical standards, mentalities and politics
Won't let you get into print.

Yes, Revolution will come
But you might starve too soon to see it.
Although the nuke war may come sooner for you the way things are going these days.

Wasted Lives

Wasted lives
So many wasted lives
Wasted minds
So many wasted minds
Wasted hands
So many wasted hands
Wasted men
And many wasted women.

Ugly greed surrounds my soul
Sammy Glicks and corporate females
Pig professors bullying the young
Cornering the jobs behind armed guards.

Within The Skyscraper

Within the skyscraper
Men plot evil deeds
Women sell their made-up faces, their egoistic minds and their aerobic bodies
To the highest bidder.
They talk about their markets
And how to manipulate all the fools;
Money is their god,
Weapons is their product
Theft is their profession.
But beneath the fluorescent lamps and above the carpeted floors
The Resistance to the tyrants in suits and ties
Cries out:
“Justice, Equality, Freedom!
Wall Street Will Fall!”
And the spirit of this Resistance
Rides the elevators up and down the skyscrapers
And across each floor
And leaves its sign in the corners of cluttered desks and cubicles
Within the skyscrapers.

The Question

To read, to write or to fight,
That is the question;
And if to read
To read what?
Fiction or history or language?
And if to write,
To write what?
Poetry, plays, novels, short stories
Or biography or non-fiction?
And if to fight,
To fight how?
When others are demoralized and psyched out by the media
Or opportunist.
To be free and loving,
That is the answer;
And to avoid literary egotism.

Thanksgiving 1988

It's still a day of mourning for those people
Trampled on by the land lust of the settlers
And their corporate and yuppie descendents
But, accidentally,
I'm attempting to jump from coast-to-coast again
In search of freedom
In search of community
In search of a part of my youth
In search of the new 'Frissco
And a place to get through the '90s
And my '40s
While stuck in the middle of
Corporate Fascist Amerika.
Farewell loveless yuppie New York!

Thanksgiving 1991

Be thankful you’re still alive
Be thankful you haven’t starved
Be thankful the government
Didn’t lock you behind bars.

Be thankful you have a job
Where you can be a slave all day
Be thankful you have a landlord
Who steals most of your pay.

Be thankful for all the yuppies
And all the rich businessmen
Be thankful for all the generals
Be thankful for all the pigs.

Be thankful that no one spits on you
When you sit in a subway car
Be thankful if you’re lonely
Be thankful if you can’t find much love.

Goodbye America (written on Sepember 23, 1986)

Goodbye America
I hope to be back soon
To continue to bear witness to the inhumanity of your ruling class towards the rest of the world
You can continue to try to lock me out of your cultural world
And sentence me and my sisters and brothers to the 9 to 5 boxes
But we will continue to fight the class responsible for the mass media manipulation of U.S. working class consciousness
And even when I'm gone
Which may be soon or may be later
The flag of spiritual resistance to America's pig social system and anti-democratic pig value structure and pig cultural/intellectual/academic Establishment
Will be raised by future generations of rebels
Until leissure-oriented
Equality and freedom
And small "c" communism
Is established
Right here on The Lower East Side
And right her on the island of Manhattan.
Take The Man's Mass Media!
And fight the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the corporations and Pentagon
To your last breath
Until all are free and equal.

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 1

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Remembering The `Karibian vs. Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case'

Columbia University was able to get a jury to rule in favor of Columbia University in the “Karibian vs. Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case.” But this excerpt from the text of the June 28, 1996 court decision (930 F.Supp 134) reveals some interesting facts on how some Columbia University supervisors apparently treated their women employees, historically, in the late 1980s:

“Plaintiff Sharon Karibian brought suit against the alleged perpetrator, Mark Urban; against Columbia University, the former employer of Karibian and Urban; and against John Borden, a vice president at Columbia…

“Karibian claimed that Urban sexually harassed her by engaging in unwelcome sexual activities with Karibian and indicating to her that she would receive employment advantages if she submitted and disadvantages in her employment if she did not. Karibian claimed that she in fact was benefited in her employment while submitting to Urban’s sexual demands and suffered detriment after she discontinued the relationship. Karbian also claimed that Urban retaliated against her because she complained to Columbia…

“…Urban produced a lengthy written statement…The statement by no means admitted any coerced or harassing sexual activity or any pressure relating to the conditions of Karibian’s employment. The statement did, however, admit that Urban had pursued Karibian romantically, that a sexual relationship had ultimately developed, and that it extended, with some breaks, until the spring of 1989. The statement described other matters relating to Karibian, including the fact that Urban had helped Karibian obtain compensation for hours in September 1987 which Karibian had not actually worked.

“…After reviewing the statement, Borden and the other people at Columbia involved with this matter decided to ask Urban to resign. Borden felt that he had been misled by Urban on an earlier occasion about what was going on between him and Karibian, and Borden and the others took the view at this time that it was improper management on the part of Urban to develop a sexual relationship with his subordinate. Another factor influencing the Columbia people was Urban’s involvement in having Karibian paid for unworked hours…”

Next: Some Poems From the 1970s and 1980s

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Columbia University's Superior Bank/"Obamagate" Scandal Link?

Although Columbia University is a tax-exempt, “non-profit” institution that is supposed to be legally prohibited from engaging in partisan political politics, Columbia University Trustee Eric Holder is currently a 2008 Obama presidential campaign adviser. . Besides being an Obama campaign adviser, Columbia University Trustee Holder also became a law partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling after serving as a Deputy Attorney General in the Democratic Clinton Administration until 2001. (See the following link: )

But as the Covington & Burling web site at
notes, Holder's law firm "represented Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation in government inquiries and civil litigation regarding the failure of its subsidiary, Superior Bank, fsb, the largest bank failure in recent years."

Coincidentally, the Obama Campaign's National Finance Chair, Penny Pritzker, sat on the board of the Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation whose special corporate interests Columbia Trustee and Obama Campaign Adviser Holden's law firm represented before U.S. government regulators and in federal court. As the Feb. 6, 2002 Office of Inspector General's report noted:

"Superior was orginally established in 1988 when the Pritzker and Dworman interests acquired Lyons Savings Bank...The corporate structure consisted of Superior being wholly-owned by Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation (CCFC), the holding company, with the Pritzker and Dworman interests each owning 50 percent of the holding company..."

Yet the Office of Inspector General's Feb. 6, 2002 report also observed:

"Oftentimes the line between poor business judgment and fraud and abuse is difficult to draw. Nevertheless, based on our review of the failure of Superior Bank it appears that some of the decisions made by Superior management rise to the level of insider abuse...

"As early as 1996, Superior submitted Thrift Financial Reports that were inaccurate...

"Questionable management practices were evident at Superior for many years...

"...Examiners discovered that during the fourth calendar quarter of 2000 Superior sold loans at fixed prices to Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation. This transaction violates various federal regulations by selling assets to an affiliate at a price less than fair market value..."

Next: Remembering The “Karibian vs. Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case”

Friday, March 14, 2008

Protest Columbia University's Complicity With U.S. Imperialism: April 24-27, 2008

To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Columbia Anti-War Student Revolt against Columbia University’s complicity with U.S. imperialism, veterans of the 1968 Columbia Student Strike will be gathering at Columbia’s School of Journalism between April 24 and April 27, 2008. See the following link for the schedule of commemoration events:

Next: Columbia University’s Superior Bank/”Obamagate” Scandal Link?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

300 Columbia University Professors Were IDA Consultants In 1968

Prior to the April 1968 Columbia University anti-war student revolt of 40 years ago, Columbia University was an institutional member of the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] weapons research think tank that developed the electronic battlefield technology which was used against the people of Indochina during the Vietnam War Era and against the people of Iraq in the 1990s and 21st-century. In addition, then-Columbia University President Grayson Kirk and then-Columbia University Trustee William Burden represented Columbia University on IDA’s executive committee and on IDA’s board of trustees.

One reason many Columbia University professors did not support the demand by Columbia and Barnard anti-war students in 1968 that Columbia University end its institutional affiliation with IDA may have been because many Columbia University professors, themselves, were personally affiliated with IDA as “part-time consultants.” As even Time magazine reported in its May 17, 1968 issue, “despite all the fuss at Columbia over IDA, none of its professors are actually on the IDA payroll, although about 300 have signed up to serve when needed as part-time consultants.”

Columbia University’s institutional involvement in the Pentagon’s IDA weapons research think-tank began in 1959. In a May 22, 1959 letter, for example, IDA’s then-Vice President and Director of Research Albert Hill wrote that Columbia Trustee “Bill Burden will probably succeed Jim McCormack as Chairman of the Board of IDA, effective Tuesday May 26th” but “until you hear to the contrary, this is confidential.” A copy of a June 29, 1959 memo from Stanford University’s representative on the IDA board of trustees, Fred Terman, to IDA Vice-President Hill was then sent to Columbia University Trustee Burden which stated “that summer study groups are being set up every year to tackle particular problems of interest to the military.” IDA Trustee Terman also subsequently acted as the technical advisor on the electronics industry to Columbia Trustee Burden’s investment firm.

Besides representing Columbia University on IDA’s board of trustees, as “Chairman of the Board” of IDA, Columbia Trustee Burden also represented Columbia University on IDA’s executive committee. IDA’s executive committee determined “the broad general policy of” IDA on behalf of the IDA board of trustees, according to a June 8, 1959 letter from then-IDA Vice-President Albert Hill to Dr. Marvin Stern of the General Dynamics weapons manufacturer.

That same year, Columbia University Professor of Physics Charles Townes moved to Washington, D.C. to replace Albert Hill as IDA’s Vice-President and Director of Research when Hill decided to return to MIT as a professor of physics. As former Columbia University Professor Townes recalled in his 1995 book, Making Waves:

“…In 1947 I was offered a suitable professorship at Columbia University, and I accepted…Eventually I was asked to chair a national committee to determine how to distribute funds designated by the Navy for research on short microwaves. The Navy was interested in developing the field primarily for exploratory reasons…

“I was asked to go to Washington…The proposed position for me was Vice President and Director of Research for the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA]. The Institute was a non-profit `think-tank’ with a very important role, run by five or six prominent universities on the East Coast, Columbia University being one of them. It managed what was known as the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group. We had to pick the right people who would be responsible for analyzing how and whether a weapon worked and its effectiveness. We also advised a new organization, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, whose aim was to consider what could be done in space, and to help initiate new ideas and technologies of importance to national security…”

On Sept. 28 and Sept. 29, 1959, former Columbia University Professor Townes next attended an IDA meeting with then-CIA Deputy Director of Plans Richard Bissell Jr., another CIA official named RW Komer and then-MIT Professor Jerome Wiesner. Among the topics discussed at this Sept. 28-29, 1959 meeting were “Project Principia” weapons research for better chemical propellant and research related to U.S. military requirements in the field of human behavior. Another topic discussed at this September 1959 IDA meeting was a proposal to set up an “Institute for Naval Studies” to examine “future possibilities in naval warfare.”

Near the end of the year, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1959 an IDA Trustees Executive Committee Meeting was held at the MIT Faculty Club between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. Among the 11 items discussed at this Dec. 16, 1959 IDA Executive Committee Meeting was a proposed Navy long-rang study group contract, the status of the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency [ARPA], the status of the Pentagon’s Weapons System Evaluation Group [WSEG], the “proposed Townes’ Group Contract,” and “new university members.”

According to the minutes of this Dec. 16, 1959 meeting of the IDA Executive Committee, at this meeting IDA executive committee members voted in favor of accepting a contract with the Pentagon’s Department of the Navy for a long-range study group and voted authorization to operate the Townes Group Project. In addition, according to the IDA Executive Committee Meeting minutes, “it was agreed that certain specific universities which were named and discussed, would be welcomed as additions to the present university Members.”

One of the universities “welcomed as additions to the present university Members” of IDA at the Dec. 16, 1959 IDA Executive Committee meeting was Columbia University. The Columbia University board of trustees then apparently also passed an unpublicized resolution at its meeting that same month (without notifying either the Columbia University faculty, the Columbia University student body or the Columbia Daily Spectator student newspaper) accepting IDA’s invitation for Columbia University to become an institutional Member of IDA and authorizing then-Columbia University President Grayson Kirk to also represent Columbia University on the IDA board of trustees and IDA executive committee.

Next: Protest Columbia University’s Complicity With U.S. Imperialism: April 24-27, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Did TV News Show of Columbia University Provost's Father Support Vietnam War in 1960s?

One reason that GE-NBC’s evening news television show may not be eager to air many news segments that are critical of Columbia University is that the current provost of Columbia University, Alan Brinkley, is the son of the now-deceased former co-anchor of NBC’s “Huntley-Brinkley” evening news television show of the 1960s, David Brinkley.

The father of Columbia University Provost Brinkley was no friend of the U.S. anti-war movement during the 1960s. As Lyle Johnston recalled in his 2003 book, Good Night, Chet”: A Biography of Chet Huntley, when 100,000 anti-war protesters marched to the Pentagon on Oct. 21, 1967 to confront the U.S. war makers, Columbia University Provost Brinkley’s father, David Brinkley, called the march “a coarse, vulgar episode by people who seemed more interested in exhibitionistic displays than [in] any redress of grievances.”

The same book also observed:

“The Vietnam `conflict’…kept `The Huntley-Brinkley Report’ busy reporting it. NBC broadcast an average of 12 Vietnam War-related stories per week between 1965 and 1970…

“…In the early part of 1962, the Pentagon’s public-affairs office director assured Kennedy that NBC had been convinced that United States interests would be negatively reflected if NBC presented coverage of `rough treatment’ by South Vietnamese soldiers to Viet Cong prisoners with a United States Army captain appearing in the sequence. The film did not appear on `The Huntley-Brinkley Report’ and was shelved…

“…J. Fred MacDonald…stated about Huntley, `At a time when his profession needed the utmost objectivity to report accurately to the American citizenry,’ Huntley `lavished praise’ on the military…

“In 1965…Chet narrated a Department of Defense film on the A-4 Skyhawk…

“At his retirement from NBC in 1970, he [Chet Huntley] mentioned, `We’ve listened to the extremists long enough—and rather politely: they are arrogant, ill-mannered boors [who] have no program—only a tantrum.’...

“Dr. Charles Bailey, in analyzing the 1965-70 `Huntley-Brinkley Reports’ stated Huntley `seemed to interpret stories in a way to emphasize his judgment that the war, although ugly, was just.’…”

The `Good Night, Chet’ book also revealed that after Martin Luther King was eliminated a few weeks before the 1968 Columbia Student Revolt, “NBC News, by way of a memo from Robert Northshield, decided to present the `minimum amount of riot footage’ following” King’s assassination.

One reason NBC’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” was apparently willing to serve as a U.S. Establishment propaganda tool during the 1960s was that its co-anchors were extremely well-paid. As the `Good Night, Chet’ book noted:

“By the time Huntley retired he was earning about $300,000 a year…Huntley had financial interests in three radio stations in New York State: WRIV, Riverhead, and WALK-AM and FM in Patchogue on Long Island. Also, the following television stations were part of the Horizon Communications’ umbrella: KPAT, Berkeley, Calif., WKOW-TV, Madison, Wisconsin, WXOW-TV, La Crosse, Wisconsin and WAOW-TV, Warsaw, Wisconsin. He owned 23.9 percent of Horizon’s stock.”

Huntley also owned $2 million worth of stocks, bonds and property; and after he retired as the co-anchor of Columbia University Provost Brinkley’s father in 1970, Huntley earned another $300,000 for being American Airlines’ ad man on television.

Speaking of high salaries, the son of former NBC TV evening news show Co-Anchor Brinkley, Alan Brinkley, was paid an annual salary of $396,250 by tax-exempt, “non-profit” Columbia University in 2005 for being Columbia University’s provost.

Next: 300 Columbia University Professors Were IDA Consultants In 1968

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nazi Leader Goring Denied Responsibility For War Crimes At Nuremberg Trials

Over a million people in Iraq have been killed since the Pentagon first bombed Iraq in January 1991. Yet the Democratic and Republican party politicians who have sat in the White House Oval Office, served as U.S. Vice-President or held cabinet and national security advisor posts since 1991 in either the Bush I, the Clintons’ Administration or the Bush II-Cheney Administration generally reject the U.S. anti-war movement’s allegation that they are personally responsible for war crimes in Iraq.

Coincidentally, as the following excerpt from the transcript of the March 21, 1946 and March 22, 1946 sessions of the Trial of The Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg indicates, former German Third Reich Marshall Hermann Goring also rejected the allegation that he was personally responsible for any war crimes during World War II:

Thursday, March 21, 1946 (87th day of international trial)

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: …Are you telling the Tribunal that you, who up to 1943 were the second man in the Reich, knew nothing about concentration camps?

GORING: …I did not know anything about what took place and what methods were used in the concentration camps later, when I was no longer in charge.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Let me remind you of the evidence that has been given before this Court, that as far as Auschwitz alone is concerned, 4,000,000 people were exterminated. Do you remember that?

GORING: This I have heard as a statement here, but I consider it in no way proved—that figure, I mean.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If you do not consider it proved, let me remind you of the affidavit of Hoeftl, who was Deputy Group Leader of the Foreign Section of the Security Section of the Amt IV of the RSHA. He says that approximately 4,000,000 Jews have been killed in the concentration camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways. Assume that these figures—one is a Russian figure, the other a German—assume they are even 50 percent correct, assume it was 2,000,000 and 1,000,000, are you telling this Tribunal that a Minister with your power in the Reich could remain ignorant that this was going on?

GORING: This I maintain, and the reason for this is that these things were kept secret from me. I might add that in my opinion not even the Fuhrer knew the extent of what was going on.

This is also explained by the fact that Himmler kept all these matters very secret. We were never given figures or any other details.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But, Witness, haven’t you access to the foreign press, the press department in your ministry, to foreign broadcasts? You see, there is evidence that altogether, when you take the Jews and other people, something like 10,000,000 people have been done to death in cold blood, apart from those killed in battle. Something like 10,000,000 people. Do you say that you never saw or heard from the foreign press in broadcast, that this was going on?

GORING: First of all, the figure 10,000,000 is not established in any way. Secondly, throughout the war I did not read the foreign press, because I considered it nothing but propaganda. Thirdly, though I had the right to listen to foreign broadcasts, I never did so, simply because I did not want to listen to propaganda. Neither did I listen to home propaganda.

Only during the last 4 days of the war did I—and this I could prove—listen to a foreign broadcasting station for the first time.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You told Mr. Justice Jackson yesterday that there were various representatives in Eastern territories, and you have seen the films of the concentration camps, haven’t you, since this Trial started? You knew that there were millions of garments, millions of shoes, 20,952 kilograms of gold wedding rings, 35 wagons of furs—all that stuff which these people who were exterminated at Maidanek or Auschwitz left behind them. Did nobody ever tell you, under the development of the Four Year Plan, or anyone else, that they were getting all these amounts of human material? Do you remember we heard from the Polish Jewish gentleman, who gave evidence, that all he got back from his family, of his wife and mother and daughter, I think, were their identity cards? His work was to gather up clothes. He told us that so thorough were the henchmen of your friend Himmler that it took 5 minutes extra to kill the women because they had to have their hair cut off as it was to be used for making mattresses. Was nothing ever told you about this accretion to German material, which came from the effects of these people who were murdered?

GORING: No, and how can you imagine this? I was laying down the broad outlines for the German economy, and that certainly did not include the manufacture of mattresses from women’s hair or the utilization of old shoes and clothes. I leave the figure open. But, also I do want to object to your reference to my “friend Himmler.”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I will say, “your enemy Himmler,” or simply “Himmler,” whichever you like. You know what I mean, don’t you?

GORING: Yes, indeed…

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Fuhrer, at any rate, must have had full knowledge of what was happening with regard to concentration camps, the treatment of the Jews, and the treatment of the workers, must he not?

GORING: I already mentioned it as my opinion that the Fuhrer did not know about details in concentration camps, about atrocities as described here. As far as I know him, I do not believe he was informed. But insofar as…

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not asking about details; I am asking about the murder of four or five million people. Are you suggesting that nobody in power in Germany, except Himmler and perhaps Kaltenbrunner, knew about that?

GORING: I am still of the opinion that the Fuhrer did not know about these figures…

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Will you please answer my question. Do you still say neither Hitler nor you knew of the policy to exterminate the Jews?

GORING: As far as Hitler is concerned, I have said I do not think so. As far as I am concerned, I have said I did not know, even approximately, to what extent these things were taking place.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You did not know to what degree, but you knew there was a policy that aimed at the extermination of Jews?

GORING: No, a policy of emigration, not liquidation of the Jews. I knew only that there had been isolated cases of such perpetrations…

GEN. RUDENKO:…You admit that as chief of the German Air Force and Reich Marshall you participated in preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union?

GORING: I once more repeat that I prepared for the possibility of an attack, mainly because of Hitler’s assumption that Soviet Russia was adopting a dangerous attitude. In the beginning the certainty of an attack was not discussed, and that is stated clearly in the directive of November 1940.

Secondly, I want to emphasize that my position as Reich Marshall is of no importance there. That is a title and a rank.

GEN. RUDENKO: But you do not deny—rather you agree—that the plan was already prepared in November 1940?


GEN. RUDENKO: …Do you admit that the objectives of the war against the Soviet Union consisted of invading and seizing Soviet territory up to the Ural Mountains and joining it to the German Reich, including the Baltic territories, the Crimea, the Caucasus; also the subjugation by Germany of the Ukraine, of Bielorussia, and of other regions of the Soviet Union? Do you admit that such were the objective of that plan?

GORING: That I certainly do not admit…

GEN. RUDENKO: And so, summing this up on the basis of the replies which you gave to my question, it has become quite clear, and I think you will agree, that the war aims were aggressive.

GORING: The one and only decisive war aim was to eliminate the danger which Russia represented to Germany.

GEN. RUDENKO: And to seize the Russian territories.

GORING: I have tried repeatedly to make this point clear, namely, that before the war started this was not discussed. The answer is that the Fuhrer saw in the attitude of Russia, and in the lining up of troops on our frontier, a mortal threat to Germany, and he wanted to eliminate that threat. He felt that to be his duty. What might have been done in peace, after a victorious war, is quite another question, which at that time was not discussed in any way. But to reply to your question, by that I do not mean to say that after a victorious war in the East, we would have had no thoughts of annexation…

GEN. RUDENKO: You must have known about the mass extermination of the Soviet citizens from the occupied territories of the Soviet Union with the help of the SD and the Security Police. Is it not true that the Einsatz Kommandos and their activities were the result of the plan prepared in advance for the extermination of Jews and other groups of Soviet citizens?

GORING: No. Einsatz Kommandos were an internal organ which was kept very secret…

Friday, March 22, 1946 (88th day of international trial)

GEN. RUDENKO: If you thought it possible to co-operate with Hitler, do you recognize that, as the second man in Germany, you are responsible for the organizing on a national scale of murders of millions of innocent people, independently of whether you knew about those facts or not? Tell me briefly, “yes” or “no.”

GORING: No, because I did not know anything about them and did not cause them.

GEN. RUDENKO: I should like to underline again, “whether you were informed of these facts or not.”

GORING: If I actually do not know them, then I cannot be held responsible for them…

GEN. RUDENKO: …Was it your duty to know about these facts?

GORING: In what way my duty? Either I know the fact or I do not know it. You can ask me only whether I was negligent in failing to obtain knowledge.

GEN. RUDENKO: You ought to know yourself better—Millions of Germans knew about the crimes which were being perpetrated, and you did not know about them?

GORING: Neither did millions of Germans know about them. That is a statement which has in no way been proved…

Next: Did TV News Show of Columbia University Provost’s Father Support Vietnam War in 1960s?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Obama's Platitudes vs. National Black Independent Political Party's 1980 Charter

Besides mouthing platitudes about how he’ll be an “agent of change” once he moves into the White House in 2009, U.S. Foreign Relations Committee Member Barack Obama hasn’t provided U.S. voters with a specific program for radical democratic change. Yet in its 1980 charter, the National Black Independent Political Party included the following 40 specific demands in its 1980 program for radical democratic change, most of which have still not been implemented by the U.S. Militaristic Establishment’s politicians of both major parties:

Demand 1: Massive employment programs specifically targeted at the Black community, to alleviate the disproportionate levels of unemployment among our people and especially among Black youth…

Demand 2: Free and low-cost education training for job opportunities for all our people…

Demand 3: An end to plant closings and runaway shops.

Demand 4: Full unemployment compensation for all who are laid off and unemployed.

Demand 5: Increased funding and improved administration for social security and other income maintenance programs for those unable to work.

Demand 6: An end to “right to work” labor laws.

Demand 7: Tuition-free education and open admissions to all institutions of higher learning as well as special technical and professional schools.

Demand 8: Full financial support by the federal government for Black colleges and universities, commensurate with the tax dollars now given to Harvard, Yale, University of California and other institutions of higher education…

Demand 9: A national comprehensive health care services program to make quality health care free and available to all who need it regardless of social status or income…

Demand 10: That the FBI and CIA be abolished, as they are incapable of being reformed to act justly.

Demand 11: That all repressive legislation such as the death penalty be eliminated from the criminal statutes.

Demand 12: That prisons be abolished and alternatives to cruelly punitive, torturous and degrading incarceration be developed…

Demand 13: Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Demand 14: Free day care for all who need it…

Demand 15: Fight against all constitutional or legal barriers to abortion…

Demand 16: Guaranteed livable income for the elderly with cost of living adjustments…

Demand 17: That the elderly be provided for economically, medically and emotionally…

Demand 18: The immediate implementation and enforcement of meaningful and workable affirmative action programs with specific goals, time limits, and quotas and penalties for failure to fully comply in all private and public employment, job training and education.

Demand 19: That the government allocate all the necessary funds and human resources to building and providing low cost houses and apartments for all who need them, especially for poor and middle income people.

Demand 20: That the maximum interest rates on loans for financing construction, rehabilitation and purchasing of single and multi-family units be rolled back immediately…

Demand 21: The immediate cessation of all gentrification and spatial deconcentration projects in urban centers that seek to disperse and displace Black people and destroy our culture.

Demand 22: That not more than 10% (ten percent) of a person’s annual income be paid on rent (which constitutes a rent control program).

Demand 23: The cessation of all discriminatory and anti-family housing, practices, e.g. red-lining, denial of public housing to ex-offenders and families with children, etc.

Demand 24: Nationalization of the energy industry at all levels and in all sections with full participation of Black and poor people in the management, control, and decision-making policies of the industry.

Demand 25: Strict government regulation on the prices of essential energy sources to curb skyrocketing energy prices.

Demand 26: Full government funding for research and development of new and/or cheaper energy resources.

Demand 27: An end to all propaganda which blames the…energy crisis on the energy producing Third World nations and OPEC.

Demand 28: Full disclosure of the corporate records of the energy monopolies.

Demand 29: Immediate halt to the use of nuclear power.

Demand 30: The immediate cessation of the seizure of Black-owned land.

Demand 31: The implementation of a radical reform program to meet the social needs of Black farmers and rural dwellers.

Demand 32: An end to military arms transfers to nations which violate human rights and who violate the sovereignty and independence of other nations.

Demand 33: An end to the huge and wasteful expenditures on the military…

Demand 34: An end to draft registration…

Demand 35: An end to U.S. military interventions and CIA covert operations in other nations.

Demand 36: The payment of wages to prisoners in accordance with laws and practices governing all workers for comparable or equal work.

Demand 37: The right to a single cell.

Demand 38: The right to free relevant training while in prison.

Demand 39: The abolition of the death penalty.

Demand 40: The abolition of all laws which try and incarcerate youth as adults.

Next: Nazi Leader Goring Denied Responsibility For War Crimes At Nuremberg Trials

Sunday, March 9, 2008

`Canada Lee'

They called him Canada Lee
And he was Broadway’s Native Son
He spoke out for human rights
So they took away his acting jobs.

His father came from the Caribbean
In the early twentieth century
And Lee was born in New York
And grew up in the big city
He studied the violin
And performed in the concert hall
But soon he began to notice
How white were their orchestras.

He ran away to a racetrack
And learned to ride a horse
He quickly became a jockey
And won more than he lost
But the era of Black jockeys
Was in the nineteenth century
Only whites were now allowed
To ride in their Kentucky Derby.

So Lee next tried boxing
And fought well in the ring
He won more than he lost
And was renamed “Canada Lee”
Despite his many KOs
They would not give him a title fight
For in the Roaring Twenties
Welterweight champs could be only white.

But boxing can be brutal
And in the head he got hit one night
With a blow that caused bad damage
So in one eye he lost his sight
Retiring from the ring,
He formed himself a band
Yet gigs were hard to find
So he hunted for a new job.

He found the Federal Theatre
In an Uptown Harlem church
They discovered that he could act
If the role was realistic
In `Stevedore’ and `The Big White Fog’
In `Native Son’, his big hit
He earned fame and applause
And much praise from the critics.

For eight years in the forties
On stage, radio or screen
He used his celebrity
In the fight for equality
Ed Sullivan smeared him as a “commie”
For acting in `Body and Soul’
And when he refused to condemn Paul Robeson
They cancelled all his radio shows.

The Canada Lee biographical protest folk song was written a few years ago to remind people how, historically, the U.S. corporate entertainment industry has not been reluctant to discriminate against certain actors and actresses on the basis of their political beliefs.

(You can listen to some of the other protest folk songs I've written by checking out the "Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society" site at the following link:

Next: Obama’s Platitudes vs. National Black Independent Political Party’s 1980 Charter

Saturday, March 8, 2008

`Times-Mirror-Newsday''s Shoreham/LILCO Nuclear Power Connection

(The following article about Times-Mirror-Newsday’s hidden history was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. In May 2008 the Tribune Company announced the sale of its Newsday subsidiary to the Cablevision media conglomerate. It first appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

Times-Mirror-Newsday also acted as a public relations tool of the U.S. nuclear power industry and the deceased CIA Director Casey’s LILCO utility company in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. When LILCO first revealed its plans to build what many felt to be an unsafe nuclear power plant at Shoreham in 1965, the newspaper endorsed the idea. When then-Suffolk County Executive John Klein expressed opposition to building a Jamesport nuclear power plant on Long Island. Times-Mirror-Newsday attacked him editorially. Times-Mirror-Newsday developed a cozy relationship with LILCO in the 1970s, according to Keeler’s Newsday book:

“By 1979, Newsday had developed a reputation as a good friend of LILCO. Privately (local publisher) Bill Attwood regularly ate meals at the Westbury Manor during the 1970s with the chairman of LILCO John J. Tuohy…When Attwood’s son, Peter, was graduated from college and started to look for work in the computer field, Tuohy arranged an interview for him, and LILCO hired him. Later, when Newsday moved to Melville, LILCO bought the old Newsday Garden City plant, for future expansion of a substation. Publicly, the editorials kept up a steady drumbeat of support for the nuclear plant (at Shoreham).”

Even after the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in the late 1970s revealed the unsafe nature of U.S. nuclear power plants, Times-Mirror-Newsday still declared, editorially, according to Keeler’s Newsday book, that “despite all the shortcomings, continuing work on Shoreham still appears to be the best way to meet Long Island’s short-term energy needs.”

Although the Times-Mirror-Newsday conglomerate earned a gross income exceeding $3 billion per year in the early 1990s and posed as a journalistic watchdog of government institutions, it had sought government financial subsidies whenever it could get them. After building a new $44 million printing plant in the town of Hempstead which opened in October 1979, for example, Times-Mirror-Newsday applied for a tax abatement from the New York State government’s “Job Incentive Board” and was granted a tax abatement by the government.

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: Canada Lee folk song lyrics

Friday, March 7, 2008

`Times-Mirror-Newsday''s Connection To Former CIA Director Casey Historically

(The following article about Times-Mirror-Newsday’s hidden history was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. In May 2008 the Tribune Company announced the sale of its Newsday subsidiary to the Cablevision media conglomerate. It first appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

Times-Mirror-Newsday has not been reluctant to function as an organizing tool of the Long Island power structure, historically. According to Keeler’s Newsday book, in its May 31, 1978 issue, “Newsday concluded that Long Island needed a formal power structure to make choices for the island’s future” and so Times-Mirror-Newsday’s then-Suffolk County Editor, Robert Greene, “pulled together a group that became known as the Long Island Action Committee.” According to the same book, “It was Greene who called up Long Island leaders, Greene who chose the influential Republican, William Casey, as its initial chairman, Greene who sold Casey to others, and Greene who hovered over the committee’s early meetings.”

A few years later, the initial chairman of Times-Mirror-Newsday’s “Long Island Action Committee,” the now-deceased William Casey, was named by then-President Ronald Reagan to be his CIA director. As Reagan’s CIA director, Casey helped organize the U.S.-backed Contra War against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and supplied CIA satellite-gathered military intelligence to Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military machine during the Iraqi-Iran war of the 1980s.

The day before Casey was to testify before a U.S. Senate Committee in December 1986 on his role in arranging for the sale of arms to Iran to raise funds for the Nicaraguan Contras, in violation of a congressional law, he was hospitalized. In May 1987, the day before a congressional hearing witness testified that Casey was involved in the “Contragate” scandal, the 74-year-old former Fordham University Trustee and Long Island Trust Company, LILCO and Capital Cities Communications director died.

In 1970, the deceased CIA Director Casey, himself, had attempted to purchase Newsday prior to the finalizing of Harry Guggenheim’s sale of the newspaper to the Times-Mirror Company. Casey was both one of the original investors and a director of the Capital Cities Communications media conglomerate and he visited Bill Moyers around this time and told Moyers that Capital Cities Communications could offer Guggenheim $20 million or $30 million more than Times-Mirror for Newsday. Although Guggenheim went ahead with the sale of Newsday to Los Angeles’ Times-Mirror, when Casey was CIA Director in the 1980s his Capital Cities Communications Company was able to gobble up an even more influential mass media institution than Newsday—a television broadcasting conglomerate named ABC [before the Disney media conglomerate subsequently purchased Capital Cities Communications/ABC during the 1990s].

Prior to managing Reagan’s successful 1980 campaign for the presidency, Times-Mirror-Newsday’s friend Casey had worked in former U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ law firm of Rogers & Well. Among the law firm clients whom Casey had billed for his services during the five years before he moved into his CIA director’s office were the following: Saudi American Lines, international Crude Oil Refining Company, the Government of Indonesia and the Republic of Korea. As Reagan’s CIA director until he died, Casey continued to share ownership of over $3 million worth of stock in companies like Dome Petroleum, Kerr-McGee, Standard Oil of Indiana, Mobil-Superior Oil, DuPont, and Exxon, according to the book Reagan’s Ruling Class by Ronald Brownstein and Nina Easton.

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: Times-Mirror-Newsday’s Shoreham/LILCO Nuclear Power Connection Historically

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Discrimination At `Times-Mirror-Newsday' Historically

(The following article about Times-Mirror-Newsday’s hidden history was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. It first appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

It wasn’t until 1963 that Times-Mirror-Newsday hired its first African-American reporter. One of its early African-American reporters, Les Payne, was only hired in 1969, after he had written speeches for U.S. General William Westmoreland in Vietnam during the Vietnam War era.

In 1978, a Times-Mirror-Newsday African-American reporter named Sam Washington committed suicide and in its obituary of him Times-Mirror-Newsday mentioned that he had beaten his wife during his lifetime. The small caucus of African-American reporters at the newspaper was angered by the tone of the Washington obituary because previously-published obituaries of white Times-Mirror-Newsday employees who had committed suicide had not mentioned the negative actions of the deceased. The caucus of African-American reporters then circulated a memo in which it declared: “This treatment was not surprising, for we know, as Sam reluctantly and quite painfully discovered, that the Suffolk editor particularly treats blacks in a dehumanizing manner.”

Like most U.S. Establishment mass media institutions, Times-Mirror-Newsday has discriminated against women historically. In December 1973, the women employees of Times-Mirror-Newsday filed a formal complaint against the newspaper for sex discrimination with the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And on Jan. 13, 1975, the Times-Mirror-Newsday women filed a class-action lawsuit which charged the newspaper with institutional sexism, the Carter vs. Newsday case. In 1982, Times-Mirror-Newsday finally agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the women reporters who were suing the newspaper. Times-Mirror-Newsday agreed to pay $130,300 in damages to 740 of its current and former women employees.

The New York editor of Times-Mirror-Newsday’s [now-defunct] “New York Newsday” edition, Donald Forst, gained something of an adversarial reputation with employees when he worked in the Long Island office of Times-Mirror-Newsday. According to Robert Keeler’s Newsday book, at that time Times-Mirror-Newsday women reporters had heard Forst “regularly use short, vulgar, offensive synonyms for the word `woman,’” and “knew that he had asked women personal questions about their sexual preferences and had described his own fantasies in graphic detail.”

Within three years after Times-Mirror-Newsday’s New York Newsday edition began to circulate in Manhattan under Forst’s editorship, according to Keeler’s Newsday book, its “newsroom in New York had taken on the air of a men’s locker room—too many crude and offensive epithets flung at women, too many sexual jokes and anti-gay put-downs.” In response, in the fall of 1987, the newspaper’s City Business Section editor, Amanda Harris, its Metropolitan Desk editor, Laura Durkin, and a reporter named Marianne Arneberg met at the Lion’s Head restaurant in the West Village to discuss what they felt was the sexist atmosphere at Times-Mirror-Newsday. They decided to meet every Sunday afternoon at Arneberg’s apartment with more than 20 other newspaper employees to discuss the newspaper management’s sexism in the area of assignments and promotion, as well as the sexist newsroom atmosphere. According to Keeler’s Newsday book, Times-Mirror-Newsday women reporters felt that the newspaper’s men were generally given higher merit raises by Times-Mirror-Newsday managers than women, for sexist reasons.

Around the same time its women staff members were complaining about the newspaper’s sexism, its then-New York Newsday metropolitan editor, John Cotter, was asked to resign by his Times-Mirror-Newsday supervisors in the corporate hierarchy because he used the word “n----r” in a professional conversation.

Asked by Downtown in early 1991 how he would respond to some of the charges published in Robert Keeler’s Newsday book that New York Newsday’s office atmosphere has, historically, been sexist and racist, then Managing Editor Toedtman answered that “Twenty-two percent of the Newsday metropolitan staff is minority or Black and Latino. I think there was a concern” about sexism in the editorial office but it has “long ceased to be a problem, although “we’re not any less vigilant.” In Toedtman’s view, the now-defunct New York Newsday in the early 1990s was “a very challenging place to work” and “our circulation is increasing because we are doing a good job covering New York.”

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: Times-Mirror-Newsday’s Connection To Former CIA Director Casey Historically

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

`Times-Mirror-Newsday''s Historic Mass Media Monopolization Drive

(The following article about Times-Mirror-Newsday’s hidden history was written before the 2000 merger between the Tribune Company and Times-Mirror-Newsday. It first appeared in the March 6, 1991 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly Downtown.)

In the late 1970s, Times-Mirror-Newsday began to accelerate its mass media buying drive. Between 1977 and 1979, Times-Mirror-Newsday spent $500 million to acquire more media properties.

In the early 1990s, California’s Times-Mirror-Newsday attempted to cement mass media power by controlling all of the following mass media institutions:

The Los Angeles Times newspaper

Times-Mirror-Newsday/New York Newsday newspaper

The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Evening Sun newspapers

The Hartford Courant newspaper

The Greenwich Times newspaper

The Stamford Advocate newspaper


KTBC-TV-Austin, Texas

KTVU-TV-St. Louis


Rhode Island Cable Television

Chillecotte Cablevision Inc.

The Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Broadcasting magazine

Popular Science magazine

Golf magazine

Sporting News

Field & Stream magazine

Yachting magazine

Military Forum magazine

Times-Mirror-Newsday also controlled Times-Mirror Land and Timber Company (which owns 272,000 acres of timberland) in the early 1990s, to reduce the business costs for obtaining the paper required by the conglomerate for its many newspapers.

Asked by Downtown in early 1991 whether the ownership by Times-Mirror of so many media properties tended to prevent a diversity of views from being published, then-New York Newsday Managing Editor Toedtman answered: “The Times-Mirror properties that I know of do not stifle diverse views.”

Besides Rockefeller & Company Director Clayton Frye Jr., Chandis Securities Director Otis Chandler and Bruce Chandler, the board of directors of Times-Mirror-Newsday also included the following U.S. Establishment figures in the late 1980s and early 1990s:

1. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Director Robert Erburu. Erburu was chairman of the Times-Mirror-Newsday board in the early 1990s, as well as a director of the company’s Tejon Ranch and the Times-Mirror Foundation.

2. Parsons Corporation Director F. Daniel Frost. Frost also directed Tejon Ranch and Avery International. The Parsons Corporation had special business interests in Saudi Arabia in the early 1990s.

3. Southern California Edison/Carter Hawley Hale Stores/Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Director Walter Gerken. Gerken also was a director of the California Economic Development Organization in the early 1990s.

4. J. Paul Getty Trust President Harold Williams. Williams also was a Pan American Airways director and a regent of the University of California in the early 1990s.

The president of Times-Mirror-Newsday in the early 1990s, David Levanthol, was an editor of Yale University’s student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, in the “silent 1950s.”

From its mass media monopolization activity, the California-based Times-Mirror-Newsday corporate board—on behalf of the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Chandler families and other U.S. Establishment families—was able to specially influence political life in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. as well as in California in the early 1990s. At the same time, it earned a gross income of $3.5 billion each year and a net income annually of $300 million.

(Downtown 3/6/91)

Next: Discrimination At Times-Mirror-Newsday Historically