Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bill de Blasio and New York City's Clintongate Scandal: A Tale of Three Phonies--Part 6

(A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of the Lower East Side underground/alternative newspaper, “The Shadow”)

Bill de Blasio’s Cambridge, Massachusetts Roots and Polaroid Connection

When Hillary Clinton named de Blasio in December 1999 to be her full-time campaign manager during her successful campaign in 2000 to occupy one of New York’s seats in the U.S. Senate between 2001 and 2009, she claimed she had chosen “someone who…grew up in New York—a point that was prominently mentioned in the single-page news release announcing the appointment,” according to the Dec. 4, 1999 New York Times article; apparently, according to the Aug. 25, 2013 New York Times article, because of  “the carpetbagging charges that dogged Mrs. Clinton.”

Yet, in reality, in late 1999 Hillary “The Carpetbagger from Arkansas and Washington, D.C.” had chosen a “Carpetbagger from Cambridge, Massachusetts” to be her U.S. Senate campaign manager in 2000: because Bill de Blasio did not grew up in New York, but did grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As Dan Janison noted in an Aug. 17, 2013 Newsday article:

“De Blasio was raised in Cambridge, Mass., Bay State roots being one of the…things he shares with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And de Blasio remains a Red Sox fan…. De Blasio attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School..”.

And as the Boston Globe recalled in a Sept. 30, 2013 article, “De Blasio moved to Cambridge in 1966, when he was 5” and “his mother, Maria, was a public relations manager at Polaroid.”

The old Polaroid Corporation (that went bankrupt in 2001, had its assets purchased by OEP Imaging Corporation in 2002 and ceased to exist in 2002), in whose public relations department the now-deceased Maria de Blasio Wilhelm worked for nearly 20 years, was formed in 1937 by Edwin Land—a grandson of Avram Solomonivich and the son of Harry Land, the owner of the H.M. Land Waste Company in Connecticut. According to Victor McElheny’s Insisting On The Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land, during the 1920s the “main business” of Edwin Land’s father “was to handle all the scrap metal from Electric Boat, the principal builder of submarines in the United States;” and “by 1927, Harry Land had begun to invest his profits in real estate.”

Established in 1937 with the financial backing of Wall Street investment bankers like James P. Warburg, during World War II Polaroid profited from the war by supplying “$2 million dollars’ worth of still [3-D] Vectographs to the U.S. military,” producing “filters for goggles” for U.S. Navy gunners, and making “periscopes, lightweight stereoscopic rangefinders, aerial cameras, the Norden bombsight, and a mechanism that antiaircraft gunners could use in training their tracer fire,” according to Insisting On The Impossible. The same book also recalled that during World War II, “the Navy asked Polaroid to work on a plane-launched, guided anti-ship bomb,” “for the thousand-pound guided bomb, the Navy awarded a contract that paid a total of $7 million dollars to Polaroid over several years” and “the contract represented a substantial fraction of the company’s wartime business.”

During the Korean War, Cold War and Vietnam War eras of the 1950s and 1960s, Polaroid President and Chairman Land also headed the Republican Eisenhower administration’s Technological Capabilities Panel’s intelligence project that helped the CIA develop its secret U-2 spy plane and spy satellite programs. In addition, as a member of both the President’s Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities and the President’s Science Advisory Committee (along with former Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] weapons research think-tank board chairman and MIT President James Killian), Polaroid’s president and chairman was “virtually in control of the development of U.S. technical means for gathering intelligence, especially in the CIA and the National Security Agency, which monitored communications throughout the world” during the late 1950s and early 1960s, according to Insisting On The Impossible.

As the same book also recalled:

“Many years of largely secret government services had prepared Land for the work leading to U-2 and beyond…For the work on Project Charles, Land assigned one of his leading optical scientists, David Grey, to participate with him…The Project Charles report recommended use of one-step Land-type photography to record images off radar scopes…Land…set up a center for bringing together all the elements of the reconnaissance [U-2] plane. The small room was at 2 Osborn Street [in Cambridge] the modest red brick building that contained his office and laboratory…”

Coincidentally, some former CIA officials have apparently claimed that Bill Clinton spied on anti-war movement activists for the CIA in the UK while attending Oxford, not many years after Polaroid apparently collaborated with the CIA to develop its U-2 spy plane. According to a 1996 book written by a former senior aide to 1984 Democratic Party presidential nominee Walter Mondale named Roger Morris, titled Partners In Power:

“`Bill Clinton’s ties to the intelligence community go back all the way to Oxford and come forward from there,' says a former government official who claims to have seen files long since destroyed… One former agency official would claim later that the future president was a full-fledged `asset,’ that he was regularly `debriefed,’ and thus that he informed on his American friends in the peace movement in Britain. Similarly, he was said to have informed on draft resisters in Sweden during his brief trip there with Father McSorley…

“One more CIA retiree would recall going through archives of Operation Chaos at the Langley headquarters—part of an agency purge amid the looming congressional investigations of the mid-1970s—and seeing Bill Clinton listed, along with others, as a former informant who had gone on to run for or be elected to a political office of some import, in Clinton’s case attorney general of Arkansas. `He was there in the records,’ the former agent said, `with special designation.’ Still another CIA source contended that part of Clinton’s arrangement as an informer had been further insurance against the draft....”

In a footnote to his 1996 book, the author of Partners In Power, Roger Morris, also noted that “interviews on the issue of Clinton and the CIA were arranged in part through organizations of retired intelligence officers and other national security officials and included former ranking members of the CIA stations in London, Stockholm, Paris and Moscow, as well as some who served at agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, during the late 1960s and who were familiar with the Operation Chaos files.”
(end of part 6)