December 12, 2009

Chapter 64: The Heritage

In 1998, Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which recalls Henry Luce’s “American Century” and is comprised of future Bush Administration members, seeks war against China and Iraq but states that a Pearl Harbor-like provocation would be needed to justify such action in the Middle East. PNAC’s provocation wish is reminiscent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s 1962 Operation Northwoods. With the September 11, 2001 attack on the U.S. by a score of suicidal Saudi religious fanatics with box cutters, former PNAC members, Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, find the justification needed to rally support for an invasion of Iraq.

In 2010, Cheney proudly asserts that he was “a big supporter of waterboarding” of suspected terrorists held in Guantánamo Bay (where Pawley spent his childhood) despite the Geneva Conventions. Cheney prefers to embrace the principles that William Pawley and the Doolittle Committee set forth a half-a-century ago:

Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of “fair play” must be reconsidered.

We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.

Within a week of his defense of torture, Cheney appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC where the crowd chanted “Run, Dick, run.” Among the 2010 CPAC sponsors were The John Birch Society, The Heritage Foundation and the Clare Boothe Luce Institute which honored  as “Woman of the Year” news commentator Monica Crowley who continued the Luce-Pawley tradition of pandering to pre-Reagan paranoia with profoundly pitiful blog posts.

With the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, Crowley tried to smear him as an Arab African and then embraced the "birther movement" claims that Obama was born in Kenya and unqualified to be President, a concept advanced by real estate branding master Donald Trump. When he outmaneuvered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election - winning the electoral vote while losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes - Trump named Crowley to join his cabinet as senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, serving under U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn whose son promoted the "pizzagate" fake news smear of Hillary Clinton. The senior Flynn was embarrassed into resigning his post when it became apparent that he had contact with Russia prior to Trump being sworn in as President but had misled Vice President Pence about the contact.

Trump, who tweeted his way to victory and beyond, appointed a dozen people who had dealt with Putin, including his Secretary of State choice Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon, giving new meaning to "fellow travelers." Donald Trump while wanting to deal in a friendly manner with Putin criticized President Obama for opening diplomatic talks with Cuba in anticipation of the death of Fidel Castro which came to pass on November 24, 2016. Trump successfully appealed to older Cuban exiles by promising to reverse Obama's policy.

Monica Crowley who launched her career assisting the former anti-communist President Richard Nixon from 1990-1994, tweeted on June 30, 2016 a message encouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin to release hacked Clinton Foundation emails. A frequent FoxNews contributor and GOP advisor, Crowley had to relinquish her National Security position in January 2017 before ever taking it, when it was revealed that she had plagiarized the works of others when writing a book in 2012 as well as her Ph.D. dissertation in 2000. Clare Boothe Luce would not have been proud.

The Death of Elizabeth Taylor

On March 23, 2011, actress Elizabeth Taylor died, bringing fresh interest to her teenage romance with William Pawley Jr. Shortly thereafter more than 60 love letters she wrote to him in 1949 were put up for auction by RR Auction, a New Hampshire company that bought the letters from Pawley, who lives in Florida at age 90.

William Pawley's father's home in Miami Beach where their engagement photos were taken and Taylor and Pawley had their tryst was put on the market for $13.9 million, represented by the The Jills/Coldwell Banker.

The Aquittal of Luis Posada Carilles

In early April 2011, a jury in El Paso, Texas cleared Posada Carrilles after deliberating for just three hours, an unexpectedly swift climax to a closely watched 13-week trial which cast fresh light on the octogenarian's lengthy career as an anti-communist agent. The defendant, a hero to militant anti-Castro exiles, had joined a CIA-backed invasion by Cuban exiles in 1959 and moved to Venezuela where he was accused of masterminding the 1976 suitcase bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet that killed 73 people, including the national fencing team. Months earlier his links with the CIA were severed. He escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985, where he spent eight years awaiting trial for the atrocity, which he denied. In an interview with the New York Times he took responsibility for 1997 bomb attacks against Cuba's tourist industry, which killed an Italian tourist in a Havana hotel, but later recanted the confession.

Soon thereafter, nearly 600 Miami Cuban exiles celebrated the return of Posada Carriles at a $40 per plate dinner, which was the latest fundraising effort to help defray Posada's legal expenses. Numerous exile organizations attended the event, including Alpha 66, whose aging militants still openly advocate violent overthrow of the Cuban government. The 83-year-old Posada Carilles told local media he remains a committed soldier in the struggle to free Cuba but that the trial was a bitter pill.