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Defenders of the American Constitution


Steve Thomas
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Lately, I have been eading about such groups as the Defenders of the American Constiitution, which Kevin Coogan describes as an organization of retired high ranking American military officers that was founded in 1953 and led by former Marine Corps Lieutenant General Pedro del Valle (1893-1978). Many of these same men went on to join the “Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta,” which was headquartered in the small town of Shickshinny, Pennsylvania; and also the Americans for National Security, evidently meant to be Liberty Lobby's contact-point among the military, boasted a 'Board of Endorsers' composed of thirteen retired officers plus Dr. Revilo Oliver.

What strikes me is these organizations' sense of urgency. Many of them ardently believed that the communist takeover of the United Statees was imminent - as early as 1963. Coogan relates a story of something called "Operation Water Moccasin", which was a military exercise in the swamps of Georgia that had to be greatly scaled back because of the uproar among right-wing groups convinced that this was the beginning of a foreign military takeover of the U.S. The maneuver involved some foreign troops in the exercise.

There was a 1964 documentary called CASE HISTORY OF A RUMOR (PT 1-2) which describes the events which took place following the rumor that the anti-communist military maneuver operation Water Moccasin was a foreign plot to occupy Georgia and eventually all of the United States. Shows how prejudice and suspicion concerning the maneuvers spread, portraying the results of political ignorance and the dangers of hate, hostility and extremism.

Steve Thomas

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What strikes me is these organizations' sense of urgency. Many of them ardently believed that the communist takeover of the United Statees was imminent - as early as 1963.

"I have mentioned but a few of the hundred reasons why we shall never forget John F. Kennedy. So long as their are Americans, his memory will be cherished with execration and loathing. If the United States is saved by the desperate exertions of patriots, we may have a future of true greatness and glory — but we will never forget how near we were to total destruction in the year 1963. And if the international vermin succeed in completing their occupation of our country, Americans will remember Kennedy while they live, and will curse him as they face the firing squads or toil in brutish degradation that leaves no hope for anything but a speedy death."

Revilo Oliver. Marksmanship in Dallas, Christmas, 1963.

Steve Thomas

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What strikes me is these organizations' sense of urgency. Many of them ardently believed that the communist takeover of the United Statees was imminent - as early as 1963.

"I have mentioned but a few of the hundred reasons why we shall never forget John F. Kennedy. So long as their are Americans, his memory will be cherished with execration and loathing. If the United States is saved by the desperate exertions of patriots, we may have a future of true greatness and glory — but we will never forget how near we were to total destruction in the year 1963. And if the international vermin succeed in completing their occupation of our country, Americans will remember Kennedy while they live, and will curse him as they face the firing squads or toil in brutish degradation that leaves no hope for anything but a speedy death."

Revilo Oliver. Marksmanship in Dallas, Christmas, 1963.

Steve Thomas

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Very strange, Steve. especially in Dallas, at Christmas, so soon after 11/22.

Dawn

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[Dawn,

Very strange, Steve. especially in Dallas, at Christmas, so soon after 11/22.

Here's a link to his article:

http://www.revilo-oliver.com/rpo/Marxmanship1.html

It makes for some interesting reading. You really get a feeling for how the right wing was thinking back in the early 1960's. Note the subtle anti-Semetic references.

I've run across references to some pretty strange groups, including one called, The Silver Shirt Squad of the American Storm Troopers.

Can't say as I've ever heard of them before.

:-)

Steve Thomas

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Steve,

Some things I learned over the years researching the far right:

Some groups/orgs are just paper.

A member of one group can be a member of many others. As a matter of fact, it was quite common. This makes it hard to "blame" an incident on any one group.

A few examples: Dan Burros. Burros was a member of the National States Rights Party, the KKK, American Nazi Party, Minutemen, and American National Party. In that strange world of Lee Harvey Oswald's address book, Dan Burros name and address can be found. The address that was listed was the one that Burros only used for a breif period when he and John Patler left the American Nazi Party to form their 2 man group called the American National Party. If my memory is right, and that's a stretch, the ANP lasted only for 6-8 months during 62-63. Burros and Patler produced a small little pamphlet called "Kill!". Four issues I believe. So how did LHO know of Burros? He may have read about him in either the far right or far left literature.

Robert Surrey. He was Walker's right hand man for years. He was also a member of the American Committe to Free Cuba which Harry Dean identified as a sub-group of the John Birch Society. Surrey later became a member of George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party and did lots of publishing work for him from Dallas.

Joseph Milteer. National States Rights Party, Dixie Klan, Constitution Party. The previously mention Gen. Pedro del Valle was also a member of the very small Constitution Party.

More later...

Dave

[Dawn,

Very strange, Steve.  especially in Dallas, at Christmas, so soon after 11/22.

Here's a link to his article:

http://www.revilo-oliver.com/rpo/Marxmanship1.html

It makes for some interesting reading. You really get a feeling for how the right wing was thinking back in the early 1960's. Note the subtle anti-Semetic references.

I've run across references to some pretty strange groups, including one called, The Silver Shirt Squad of the American Storm Troopers.

Can't say as I've ever heard of them before.

:-)

Steve Thomas

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Steve,

I think we have to be careful when we link together various right wing "extremist" groups. I have always felt that more than "anti-Castro" Cubans, or Minutemen or John Birch Society types, or devoted followers of Gen. Walker were behind the assassination of JFK. I believe this for a couple of reasons. First of all, these groups are not, IMHO, powerful enough to pull off the kind of coverup that has transpired for over 40 years and is still going strong. They are also not powerful enough, IMHO, to compel the likes of the FBI, the CIA, the Secret Service, etc., to cover up their crime. Having studied a lot of "extremist" groups on both sides of the political spectrum, it is my belief that while many of these organizations are harmless discussion groups, they are often infiltrated by undercover government agents. Ironically, this is a role many of us believe Oswald was playing at the time of the assassination. One could even theorize, and I have sometimes done this, that most of the really extreme rhetoric emanating from these groups, and all of the violence, is initiated by undercover agents.

Not all "extremist" groups are the same. You mention Liberty Lobby, for instance. This group was a true patriotic outfit, IMHO. Founded by the ex-son-in-law of FDR, it boasted members like John Wayne, Gloria Swanson and writer Taylor Caldwell. Over the years, they gradually drifted away from a hard-right anti-communism into more of a populism. The weekly newspaper they published for many years, The Spotlight, was full of valuable information and broke many stories before the major media ever reported them. In the years before the internet, this was an invaluable source of alternative news. Men like comedian/activist Dick Gregory and the late Col. Fletcher Prouty sat on Liberty Lobby's board of directors. Also, critic Mark Lane was Liberty Lobby's attorney for many years, and defended them in court against the likes of Jack Anderson and E. Howard Hunt. Just food for thought.

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Don and David,

I have always felt that more than "anti-Castro" Cubans, or Minutemen or John Birch Society types, or devoted followers of Gen. Walker were behind the assassination of JFK. I believe this for a couple of reasons. First of all, these groups are not, IMHO, powerful enough to pull off the kind of coverup that has transpired for over 40 years and is still going strong.

Thanks for your replies. I agree about the coverup. There is no way people like Surrey or Burros could have compelled the CIA or FBI to do anything.

"it is my belief that while many of these organizations are harmless discussion groups, they are often infiltrated by undercover government agents. Ironically, this is a role many of us believe Oswald was playing at the time of the assassination."

That's where I was coming from. I started thinking about high military officials attending meetings in the spring and summer of 1963 of right-wing extremist groups apparently at which assassination of high ranking government officials was being discussed.

To me, what happened in Dealey Plaza bore the earmarks of a military style sniper ambush, with triangulation of fire, etc. Did some of these military officials mentioned earlier plan the details? Did they turn to the CIA or the mob to recruit the shooters? Were anti-Casto Cubans or out-of-town Corsican hitmen the ones recruited?

I don't know.

Steve Thomas

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