' Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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Jewish World Review March 10, 2004 / 17 Adar, 5764

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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Active measures

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | When voters are asked to evaluate their choices for President next November, they will have to weigh carefully the temperament, judgment and instincts of the man who will hold that office. Nowhere will these qualities be of greater consequence than with respect to the execution of his duties as Commander-in-Chief. John Kerry's long record of extremely liberal Senate votes on national security-related matters offer ample grounds for concerns on all three scores.

Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, those concerns will only grow as the electorate learns more over the coming months about the temperament, judgment and instincts his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, brings to such matters, as reflected in the choices she has made in the course of years of multi-million dollar philanthropy.

Of particular concern is one of the beneficiaries of substantial largesse from foundations controlled by the would-be First Lady: The San Francisco-based Tides Foundation and a spin-off called the Tides Center. These entities in turn help distribute funds to and operate as clearing houses for policy-networking and coordination between a veritable Who's Who of radical leftist organizations. The recipients share a hostility to what most Americans understand to be our country's security interests and the capabilities needed to protect them.

According to publicly available information, in recent years, Ms. Heinz Kerry's foundations have given at least $5.9 million to these entities. While a Kerry campaign spokesman insists that such funds were earmarked for environmental causes, as the New York Post observed Tuesday [3/9] in a caustic editorial about Teresa's philanthropy, "money is fungible." And money entrusted to the Tides organizations for distribution routinely found its way into the hands of people pursuing more than merely hardline "green" agendas.

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For example, as Ben Johnson observed in an article published last month in FrontPageMagazine entitled "Teresa Heinz Kerry: Bag Lady for the Radical Left," the beneficiaries of some $300 million distributed over the years by the Tides' operations include:

"rabid antiwar demonstrators, anti-trade demonstrators, domestic Islamist organizations, pro-terrorists legal groups, environmentalists, abortion partisans, extremist homosexual activists and open borders advocates."

More troubling still is the fact that the investment Ms. Heinz Kerry has made in organizations who provide large sums - and, in some cases, probably life-support - to such groups is paying off for her husband's campaign.

Notably, when President Bush unveiled his opening salvo of political advertisements containing fleeting images of 9/11, a Tides-associated outfit called "September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows" led a caucus of press-amplified denunciations of their exploitative "insensitivity" to the victims. The political impact was all the more extraordinary since, as the Post reported on March 9, "[Peaceful Tomorrows] admits [it] has only a few dozen members and represents relatives of no more than 1 percent of the 9/11 victims.

When the Soviets were running left-wing influence operations, they used to call such things "active measures" - a term used to describe the spectrum from low-level propaganda and disinformation to covert operations, all designed to subvert one's opponents and advance your own agenda. Themes that benefit Candidate Kerry's run for the White House have also been promoted by far more sophisticated, visible and better-funded active measures campaigns run by Tides-supported operations like MoveOn.org and International ANSWER, two of the prime-movers behind opposition to President Bush's War on Terror.

This is not to say that Senator Kerry or even his wife are directly running the operations supported by one of her favorite charities. Yet, as Ben Johnson trenchantly observes, "The grant-making institutions of the Left and their feverish recipients ultimately form an amorphous, leftist entity. One never needs to search very far to find connections between a leftist foundation and extreme advocacy groups. Teresa Heinz Kerry, George Soros, Bill Moyers and the Ford Foundation fund the Tides Foundation/Center; Tides funds the National Lawyers Guild, the Council on American Islamic Relations, MoveOn.org and United for Peace and Justice; those organizations then unite in fluid coalitions to protest against their common political enemies (Republicans).

"Ultimately, their representatives end up on Bill Moyers' PBS programs or active within the Democratic campaigns of their fundraisers. Between now and the election, these organizations will run constant interference for the Democratic presidential nominee...: they will march en masse against the Bush administration again and again; they will file more lawsuits against the administration's Homeland Security measures, decry any effective response to terrorism, claim the United States is guilty of slaughtering Iraqi civilians and petition leftist judges to open America's borders to Islamist terrorists. After they help his election, President Kerry will be indebted to them. And then they will insist he begin implementing their political agenda."

Unless and until Senator Kerry formally disassociates himself from radical Leftist groups and agendas like those supported by his wife, it is not unreasonable to conclude that his public record on defense and foreign policy matters is only part of the problem with his bid to become Commander-in-Chief. For such a renunciation to be credible, however, it should come now -- not towards the end of a campaign influenced by the active measures of his wife's political allies and philanthropic beneficiaries.

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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



© 2004, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.