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SELLING THE ROPE TO HANG US

Against the current backdrop of President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy being lavishly welcomed and entertained in Moscow by Soviet Dictator Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa, all of them beaming and outwardly elated over the now "improved superpower relations", the following eye-opening articles from The Mindszenty Report (May 1988) should help dispel some of the extraordinary euphoria surrounding the event and provide clearer insight as to what is actually behind Soviet and even U.S. eagerness to "get together".

Contrary to the propaganda served up by America's mass media, the U.S. Government is not promoting trade with the USSR for the sake of benefiting the U.S. economy and improving U.S.-Soviet relations. Our trade relationship with the Russians has contributed to the weakening of our economy and increasing our debt, while subsidizing the Soviet defense industry at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

The following report, taken from the Mindszenty Report of May 1988, examines some of the sinister dealing that has taken place in the name of U.S.-Soviet trade. After one reads this article, it becomes ever more clear that our only hope to avoid enslavement or annihilation by Soviet Russia is to listen to and obey Our Lady of Fatima immediately, before it is too late for all of us.


On September 25, 1921, a twenty-three-year-old American physician, recently graduated at the top of his class from Columbia University medical school, arrived in the bleak town of Alapayevsk in the USSR. He would soon make history.

Lenin, the founding father of Soviet Communism, had just initiated his New Economic Policy, thus acknowledging the failure of collectivism and allowing foreign capitalists to help rebuild the Soviet economy and industry. The young American had expressed interest in a grain deal and also the huge Alapayevsk asbestos mine that now stood idle but, in its dark underground shafts, held the bodies of six Romanovs murdered by the Bolsheviks and dumped there on July 17, 1918. Ironically, years later the confiscated possessions of the last Tsar of Russia and his family — jewels, precious works of art and priceless heirlooms — would make the young American immensely wealthy.

Lenin was obsessed with this man who managed an American pharmaceutical firm well known as the only U.S. firm to have circumvented a Western trade blockade to sell medicine and war supplies on credit to Lenin's struggling new Communist regime. He was also familiar with the young man's father, president of the drug firm, who was then serving time on a manslaughter conviction at Sing Sing prison for performing an abortion on a woman who died four days later. The father was a major benefactor of the U.S. Communist Party.

Lenin met with the young American, telling him if he did not want the asbestos mine perhaps he could sign a contract to export grain from America to the USSR. Such a deal, Lenin said, could be widely publicized around the world and help convince Western capitalists that there was money to be made in trading with the Bolsheviks. As it turns out, not only was the young American granted 20-year mining rights for asbestos — now outlawed in the U.S. as an extreme lung cancer-causing fiber — but he was also named purchasing agent for agricultural machinery Lenin also needed from America.

On November 17, 1921, the first of many shipments of American wheat arrived in Russia as a result of agreements signed by Lenin and the young American. After the steamer was unloaded, it was packed full with Russian precious works of art and priceless heirlooms as well as sable and mink and other expensive furs. Before setting sail in December, a ton of Russian caviar in fifty-pound wooden kegs, was added prior to cast off. On board, heading home to America, was Lenin's young friend, Dr. Armand Hammer who … today … makes appearances on the popular Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" still extolling the benefits of U.S.-Soviet trade.

On December 10, a private, unannounced mini-conference was held behind-the-scenes during the 1987 U.S.-Soviet Summit, reportedly without the knowledge of President Reagan but attended by his counterpart in summitry, Soviet Party Boss Mikhail Gorbachev. In attendance to discuss increasing trade with the Kremlin were:

•  Dr. Armand Hammer, president of Occidental Petroleum, who had just announced that his company would soon invest between $5 and $6 billion to build, in Hammer's words, "one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world" in the USSR and then sell at least 50 per cent of products produced there on the world market … raising badly needed hard currency for the Soviets.

•  Dwayne Andreas of the Archer-Daniels Midland grain firm, a company which runs newspaper ads promoting U.S.-Soviet trade by depicting the East Coast of the United States connected to the western border of the Soviet Union.

•  James Giffen, president of the mysterious U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council (USTEC), purportedly a private organization of "American and Soviet businessmen" sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department during the Nixon Administration … its protocols signed by then Treasury Secretary, now Secretary of State George Shultz … but known to be heavily staffed on the Soviet side by important KGB operatives.

•  C. William Verity, former head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an executive of USTEC from 1979 to 1985, during which time he worked closely with fellow USTEC executive-committee member Yevgeny Pitrovranov, an identified KGB lieutenant general. Verity also was a special economic advisor of President Jimmy Carter on U.S.-Soviet trade and was chairman of the board of Armco Steel which was on the verge of building a huge turnkey steel-making plant in the USSR - using sophisticated U.S. technology - when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and all U.S.-Kremlin trade deals were cancelled. A long-time advocate of "if we don't sell to the Communists, someone else will", Verity is now U.S. Secretary of the Department of Commerce where he is aggressively implementing USTEC's trade-at-any-cost-with-the Soviets agenda.

What was discussed at the cozy secret mini-conference among the Kremlin's Gorbachev, U.S. Commerce Secretary Verity and representatives of USTEC, whom Verity took along for good measure? From subsequent news reports leaked to the media, Gorbachev's chief economist Abel Aganbegyan was on hand to list some $10 billion worth of trade projects the Soviets hoped would entice U.S. interest, including telecommunication, computers, machine tools, oil equipment and engineering. The morning after the meeting with Gorbachev, USTEC's James Giffen appeared on the "Today" show telling host Jane Pauley: "We had a very good conversation about future trade with the Soviet Union … the level of trade could go from a billion dollars … up to four or five billion per year and maybe even higher…."

How would the Soviets finance their part of new trade deals with the U.S. is a question seldom raised by the USTEC crowd, although they know perfectly well how it might be achieved. Although the Kremlin's gross indebtedness to the U.S. rose from $21.8 billion in 1984 to $35.8 billion in 1986, and the Soviets are currently borrowing $700 million a month from Western credit markets, according to the December 7, 1987 Wall Street Journal, there could be other sources of financial aid as yet untapped. For example, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which are funded by the American taxpayer. "We would like to see the Soviet Union become members of all these international bodies," said George Shultz's Deputy Secretary of State, John Whitehead, last March. Whitehead has been instrumental in easing restrictions on the shipment of sensitive defense technology to Eastern Europe which somehow ends up in the USSR and saves the Kremlin big bucks in research. In 1980 alone, according to intelligence experts, the Soviets saved $800 million in research costs by acquiring, legally and illegally, advanced Western technology.

Granting Most Favored Nation status would also aid the promoters of increased U.S.-Soviet trade. MFN means no strings attached to trade, such as linking human rights abuses by the Soviets to commercial dealings with the Kremlin. Writing on the "Op-ed" page of the New York Times on anuary 2, 1979, USTEC's co-chairman William Verity said "a policy of holding trade hostage or political ends is self-defeating … however admirable our desire to persuade Soviet leaders to how greater concern for human rights they view such efforts as an interference with domestic affairs." In a March 7, 1984 interview on Radio Moscow, the later-to-be U.S. Commerce secretary Verity called the Jackson-Vanik amendment to trade Act of 1974 — making U.S. trade benefits dependent on the Kremlin's willingness to allow emigration by Jews and others from the USSR — "one of the terrible mistakes that was made by American politicians." In the same interview, he called for Most Favored Nation status for the Soviet Union.

April 1988 found former USTEC executive — now U.S. Secretary of Commerce — C. William Verity packing his bags to fly to Moscow. His mission: negotiating a new U.S.-Soviet trade agreement de-linking Soviet human rights violations from trade with the Communists and, at the same time, easing high-tech export restrictions to the USSR.

Just by coincidence, at the same time some 500 American business executives and officials of the Commerce Department were in the Soviet capital attending the 11th annual meeting of USTEC and being wined and dined by the Gorbachevs. In addition to silver platters heaped with caviar, the menu included galantine of zander, smoked salmon, pheasant stuffed with prunes, hazel grouse and the finest vodkas and Georgian wines. It was the same lavish setting used many times before to impress the Americans. Former president Richard Nixon, for example, had sat in the same room on his first trip to Moscow. Joseph Finder, in his remarkable book on the U.S.-Soviet trade lobby, RED CARPET, lets Nixon describe his feelings at that meeting:

"Sitting next to each other at the head table, Brezhnev and I looked directly across the room at a several-times-life-size-mural of Christ and the Apostles at the Last Supper. Brezhnev said, 'That was the Politburo of those days.' I responded, 'That must mean that the General Secretary and the Pope have much in common.' Brezhnev laughed and reached over and shook my hand."

One of Nixon's closest friends and advisers was Pepsi-Cola's Donald Kendall, like Commerce Secretary Verity, a former executive of USTEC. How much influence he exerted on Nixon in favor of U.S.-Soviet trade is an open question. It should be noted, however, that Lenin's friend Armand Hammer once donated $20,000 to Nancy Reagan to buy new china for the White House. The U.S.-Soviet trade lobbyists are free with their dollars to the right people in the right places.

GORBACHEV ENCOURAGES U.S. TIES the New York Times announced in headlines on April 14, 1988. "New thinking should at long last enter the sphere of our economic relations," the Timesquoted "the Soviet leader" addressing the 11th annual meeting of USTEC.

Only hours before, executives of seven American corporations gave notice that they had formed the American Trade Consortium, Inc. to "serve as a gateway and guidepost for expanded American participation in joint venture projects with the Soviet Union." The seven big businesses: Dwayne Andreas's Archer-Daniel-Midland grain company; the Chevron Corporation; RJR Nabisco Inc.; the Eastman Kodak Company; the Ford Motor Company; Johnson & Johnson and the Mercator Corporation. Their president: James Giffen who was one of the select few to meet in secret with Gorbachev and Commerce Secretary Verity during the December Summit. "This is not aid; this is trade and we're after profits," Giffen told the Times, which noted that Giffen and other executives in Moscow were "unresponsive to questions on how they would obtain hard currency profits from their agreements" with the Soviets. Russian rubles are worthless outside the USSR.

According to R. Cort Kirkwood, writing in the April 29 National Review (''Inside the Red-Trade Lobby") one former Reagan administration official in-the-know told him that "new working groups", such as the American Trade Consortium, Inc., will be "a major watershed of change in the way we do business — resulting in the formal integration of whole sectors of the U.S. and Soviet economies." Red Carpet author Joseph Finder explains the new rush of U.S. business executives to Moscow this way:

"This is an exact replication of Lenin's New Economic Policy. Have them set up everything and kick them out. It's not risky for the Soviets. Americans put up the investment. A lot of companies see the Soviet Union as a giant unexploited market. They had the same feeling in the 1920s." On the other side, American Trade Consortium's James Giffen says it's a great idea for the U.S. to help the USSR become an economic superpower and calls anyone opposing greater U.S. trade with the Soviets "a bunch of ideologues" and "mental midgets" out to get headlines.

Lenin reportedly once remarked that capitalists will sell Russia the rope it needs to hang them. In Red Carpet, Joseph Finder quotes Lenin further:

"The capitalists of the world and their governments, in pursuit of conquest of the Soviet market, will close their eyes to the indicated higher reality and thus will turn into deaf-mute blind men. They will extend credits, which will strengthen for us the Communist party in their countries and giving us the materials and technology we lack, they will restore our military industry, indispensable for our future victorious attack on our suppliers. In other words, they will labor for the preparation for their own suicide."

A brief look at some past U.S.-Soviet trade undertakings will show how accurate Lenin was in his predictions:

•  In 1972 and again in 1977 the Soviets took advantage of bountiful U.S. harvests to secretly buy millions of tons of grain at low prices on easy credit. This sent wheat and corn prices to record highs and the price of food to American consumers soaring.

•  High grade U.S. technology was used to build the Soviets' ZIL plant which became central to Soviet military efforts against American soldiers and marines in Vietnam. ZIL also produced missile launchers and a whole range of Soviet military equipment. For pointing out that it makes no sense at all for the U.S. to spend billions on defense while also underwriting the Soviet military, Carter Administration Commerce Department official Lawrence J. Brady's appointment as assistant secretary for import and export — a key position governing Red trade policy — was shot down by none other than C. William Verity who led a campaign against Brady's confirmation.

•  In 1974, the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank (where Commerce Secretary Verity served on the board of directors) loaned the Soviets millions of dollars to build the world's largest truck plant (Kama River) 550 miles east of Moscow. Moscow promised it wouldn't, but soon after completion the Kama River plant began turning out trucks and other military vehicles used in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

If a consortium of bankers, big business executives and Commerce Department officials are busyselling the rope with which the Soviets plan to hang America, don't we have "the right to know" who is doing the selling? The answer is positively not! We have the right to know more than we want to know or care about Watergate and Iran-Contra, but the identities of those trading with the Communists is a classified secret.

All efforts, for example, to find out who belongs to USTEC are blocked by the Department of Commerce which withholds all data about corporations trading with the Soviets and the dollar value and impact of such trade. Four hundred pages of official documentation about USTEC are locked in the files of the Justice Department which refuses to release any information contained therein to the public.

As far back as 1979, the Washington based National Journalism Center filed suit in federal court seeking to compel disclosure of relevant data about USTEC and U.S.-Soviet trade. Results: zero. Why the secrecy? Columnist William Rusher contemplates:

"The (Commerce) department vehemently protests. It insists that such disclosure would violate trade secrets and run counter to the 'national interest' all of which is so much twaddle. What trade secrets? As Mr. Evans (M. Stanton Evans, chairman of the National Journalism Center) notes: 'competitive firms in the computer business, for example, have a pretty good idea of who is selling what to whom…. It is the public that is being denied this information."

Evans himself has written in an April 30, 1988 column: "Whatever the truth of such assertion, the common factor in all these cases is apparent: Officials of our government are fighting hammer and tongs to make sure the American people know little or nothing of this traffic with the enemy — including the identities of the people engaged in it and the activities of such promoters as USTEC, entwined as it is with the officials themselves. We are confronted in sum, with a systematic cover-up of mind-boggling dimensions. Where, one wonders, are our crusading media and their vaunted interest in the public's 'right to know'?"

Write to your Senators and Congressmen. Ask them why those Red traders who are selling rope to the Communists to hang Americans are being protected from exposure and public scrutiny of their activities.