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Hillary's Radical Skeletons By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 25, 2008


Integral to Hillary Clinton's triumph in the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, Jacob Laksin observed in FrontPage Magazine, was convincing Keystone State voters that she “understood the curious ways of more humble folk.” The former feminist liberationist, who channeled dead spirits, belittled those who “stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” and labored to sue handgun manufacturers for daring to make the Second Amendment possible morphed herself into a gun-toting, whiskey-swilling church lady. Her reinvention as a redneck queen only went so far, though: she did tremendous damage by emphasizing Barack Obama’s ties to anti-American radicals Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. She has, in short, been lucky in her choice of opponents: a mature candidate would have thrown both under a bus at the first opportunity. Obama’s refusal to do so, likening one to his grandmother, has allowed Hillary to present herself as the voice of mainstream moderation.

She is no such thing.

Conservatives, amused at the once-invincible Obama finally facing tough questions, would be ill-served if they allow her to establish her new image as a plain vanilla moderate. From her crusading days in Wellsley College through her choice of minister during her eight years in the East Wing, Hillary has surrounded herself with a consortium of radicals that would make Obama blush (or rather, feel right at home).

The Mobster's Marxist

The former Goldwater girl would write her 1969 thesis for Wellesley College on the ideas of native Chicago radical Saul Alinsky. Entitled “There is only the Fight, An Analysis of the Alinsky model,” its 92 pages explored the intellectual world of the Marxist organizer. The young Ms. Rodham likened Alinsky – favorably – to Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene Debs, Walt Whitman, and Martin Luther King Jr., stating “each embraced the most radical of political faiths – democracy.” Hillary had one difference with Alinsky: she did not believe street demonstrations were effective avenues to promote their shared, far-Left values. Instead, she affirmed her commitment to working “inside the system,” because she believed all change came about only by acquiring political power. Three years after her thesis, Alinsky revealed the source of some of his methods, “I learned a hell of a lot about the uses and abuses of power from the mob, lessons that stood me in good stead later on, when I was organizing…Everybody owned stock in the Capone mob; in a way, he was a public benefactor.” Alinsky certainly benefited: he consorted with Al Capone and Frank Nitti, among other mafiosi. Alinsky knew a ruthless leader when he saw one, offering Hillary a job at his Industrial Areas Foundation Training Institute.

Peeping for the Panthers

She declined in favor of attending Yale Law School. There, she studied under the infamous Thomas (“Tommy the Commie”) Emerson. Emerson introduced her to Charles Garry, an attorney for the Black Panther Party. When Panthers were put on trial in New Haven, Connecticut, for the torture and murder of Alex Rackley, Hillary monitored the trial – on behalf of the Panthers. (Although this is the subject of an urban legend, the monitoring did, in fact, occur.) Her aim, and that of the students she organized, was to look for “civil rights violations” that could be used as technicalities to dismiss the charges against the Panthers.

“Our Law Firm was a Communist Law Firm.”

Unsuccessful in these efforts, in 1972 Hillary Rodham took her unmarried companion, Bill Clinton, to Berkeley, where she worked as an intern at her hand-picked law firm: Treuhaft, Walker, and Bernstein. The practice, founded by current or former members of the Communist Party USA, had long acted as a legal asset for CPUSA, the Black Panthers, and other Bay-area radicals. Founding partner Bob Treuhaft had been labeled one of the nation’s most “dangerously subversive” lawyers.

Had the future presidential candidate somehow inadvertently joined a Marxist law firm 3,000 miles away from her home college? Treuhaft disclosed, “She did want to work for a left-wing movement law firm. Anyone who went to college or law school would have known our law firm was a Communist law firm.” In fact, Treuhaft and his wife, Jessica Mitford, left the Party, not because of ideological variance with the Communists, but because “It was ineffective.” In 1992, the co-president-elect wrote, “I am an admirer of Jessica Mitford.” While Rodham was doing her internship, Treuhaft feverishly worked at getting charges dismissed in Huey P. Newton’s 1967 murder of a police officer. (Hillary’s apologists often claim she monitored the Rackley trial to protest “mistreatment” of Bobby Seale; ironically, Huey Newton abused Seale far worse than any legal system.)

Not all partners in the firm had cut ties with the Communist Party. Doris Brin Walker remained a member of the CPUSA 30 years after Rodham's intership had ended. Having just finished a stint as president of the National Lawyers Guild when Hillary reported for duty, Walker longed for a “Second American Revolution.” As Hillary left the firm, Walker successfully defended Angela Davis against multiple felonies resulting from a shootout that left a California judge dead. Walker said she undertook the case at the instruction of the CPUSA. She once mused, “For Hillary to pick the most left-wing firm really at that time in the Bay Area, it's still a surprise to me that more hasn't been made of that.”

Hillary did yeoman's work while learning at the feet of the masters. Associates say Hillary helped draftees get themselves declared conscientious objectors, so they would not serve in Vietnam. They insist Hillary served VA interns seeking to avoid taking a loyalty oath to the United States. Some hint she worked on Black Panther cases, or attended their trials. And she undoubtedly assisted Berkeley student body president Daniel Siegel obtain admission to the bar, which he was denied after he thundered: “The question is not violence versus non-violence; the question is when violence, and how violence, and what violence.” He graciously specified targets: “I can see very little objection theoretically, politically, or morally, or anything else, with burning down the Bank of America and all its 500 branches.” Mr. Siegel now shares his legal wisdom at the bench, thanks to Miss Rodham.

A Check in Every Pot, a Government Babysitter in Every Garage

Hillary's own views continued to reflect a radical orientation toward economics and the traditional family. She worked on Kenneth Kingston’s tome All Our Children: The American Family Under Pressure, which advocated a guaranteed minimum annual income. In a November 1973 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Hillary proposed liberating children from “the empire of the Father.” In that article, she asserted, “Along with the family, past and present examples of such [unjust] arrangements include marriage, slavery, and the Indian Reservation system.” As if to stick it to her opponents, who publicized this quotation during the 1992 election, Hillary authored her first book shortly after taking office: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.

At the same time, she would meet the woman who would focus her quest for state socialism: Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund. In 1996, Edelman exhorted Jim Wallis’ leftist religious group Call to Renewal: “Let’s guarantee a job. Let’s guarantee health care and children [sic.] care. Let’s turn this welfare repeal into real welfare reform.” She endorsed full employment, socialized medicine, federally funded babysitters for all, and infinite welfare benefits for those not inclined to forsake indolence. But what will give way in the budget? Defense, of course. Edelman wrote in her1987 book Families in Peril, “We must curb the fanatical military weasel and keep it in balance with competing national needs.”

Government Lawyers for Leftists

To sure up the support of her now-husband, Jimmy Carter named Hillary Clinton to the board of the Legal Services Corporation from 1978-1980. The LSC, purportedly a program to help the poor, has dedicated the time of its taxpayer-subsidized lawyers to serving grassroots leftist organizations, easing restrictions against criminal illegal aliens, and expanding government welfare rolls. Hillary soon became chair of Legal Services, reportedly in a coup against Carter’s preferred candidate. Funding tripled during her reign, reaching its highest ever budget in inflation-adjusted dollars. At that time, LSC opposed California’s Proposition 13, which cut property taxes by more than half, although organizing a political campaign “broke its own rules,” according to Michael Barone. Likewise, the LSC tried to force the New York Transit Authority to hire heroin addicts. In 1978, it filed an amicus brief in the Bakke case, supporting racial quotas in public universities. During her co-presidency in the 1990s, LSC’s budget soared to $400 million; and its case load at the time included such causes as:

  • keeping drug-dealers from being evicted from public housing;
  • getting drug addicts disability benefits;
  • defending illegal aliens convicted of felonies from deportation;
  • suing to get welfare benefits for a criminal illegal alien who had once been deported;
  • demanding bilingual education;
  • opposing Proposition 187, the California voter initiative that would have banned non-emergency aid for illegal aliens; and
  • supporting homosexual adoption.

Clearly, she was within her element.

Hillary's Pastor Problem

The first major chink in Obama's electoral armor came with questions of his relationship to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the recently retired pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ and a longtime Obama family friend and confidant. Hillary took the unusual move of exploiting the issue during a Democratic primary, along the way positioning herself as a the voice of centrist reason. As Donna Brazile reminded voters, the Clintons have their own connection to Rev. Wright: Bill Clinton invited Wright to the 1998 White House Prayer Breakfast, and penned a thank you note afterwards for Wright's attending this event during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Oh…and Hillary was present, too.

This would be a minor blip, if it were an isolated connection to the Religious Left, particularly as Hillary the Hunter cast herself as a conservative churchgoer while campaigning in rural Pennsylvania. She did not disclose that she spent eight years faithfully attending Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., currently pastored by Rev. Dean J. Snyder. Snyder recently praised Jeremiah Wright as “an agent of racial reconciliation” who proclaims “perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear.”

To be clear, Snyder did not serve during the 1990s. However, the previous pastor, the Rev. Dr. J. Philip Wogaman, was equally radical. A year after the Berlin Wall fell, he wrote, “Christian socialism's critique of the excesses and brutalities and idolatries of the free market still need to be heard.” He had earlier lauded Communist Cuba and China’s “modest but real economic success.” As long ago as 1967, Rev. Useful Idiot wrote in his Protestant Faith and Religious Liberty that:

The USSR is characteristic of the more tolerant Communist arrangements for religion. In Russia there are specific constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship, and some provision has even been made for the upkeep of churches and theological seminaries.

Wogaman's Russia: the Gothic Archipelago.

Traditional Christians were outraged by Wogaman's views, on this and much else. As Bill Clinton did, Wogaman accused his critics – Christian columnist Cal Thomas, by name – of instigating the Oklahoma City bombing. “People in the media don't plant bombs. But if they plant hatred and division, doesn't that affect the behavior of unstable hearers or readers?” (Apparently Wogaman did not listen to Bill Clinton: Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich were responsible for the bombing.)

Even these were not Hillary's first ties to religious radicals.

Hillary's Anti-Feminist, Wife-Abusing Hero (Not Bill)

In her memoir, Living History, the junior senator from New York lauded Yale’s chaplain during her years at the law school, Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., for his “articulate moral critique of American involvement” in Vietnam. That critique involved his traveling to Hanoi in 1972. Seven years later, he would make a friendly trip to Tehran, the first modern Islamic theocratic state which had just stormed a U.S. embassy and kidnapped dozens of his fellow countrymen.

His friendly sojourns in countries engaged in kidnapping, torturing, or murdering Americans is not the only part of Coffin's history that should be troubling to the feminist Clinton. Coffin, who taught Judo in the Army, repeatedly beat his second wife, Harriet, once giving her a hairline skull fracture. Discussing the matter years later, the good reverend related his emotions that night: “I said, 'What the hell, I've got to do this again?'” However, he expressed regret that he “didn't take quite enough aim.” Harriet's crime, in the words of one academic, was that she “developed a bad drinking problem and interests in psychology and feminism, and Bill didn't take to any of that. Harriet became desperately unhappy and tried to force Bill into discussing matters he preferred to avoid.” One of Coffin's friends described it thus: Harriet longed “to be on a podium with him -- a podium of equal height with his. And Bill just doesn't function that way.” But savaging his wife in order to avoid diatribes on feminism did not cost him Hillary Clinton's admiration.

Things That Go Boom in the Capitol

Hillary also attacked Obama for his close ties to Bill Ayers, a former Weather Underground member who believes he did not do enough to advance his revolutionary agenda. Hillary helpfully told a live television audience, “What they did was set bombs. And in some instances, people died. So it is – I think it is, again, an issue that people will be asking about.”

Obama, in an otherwise disastrous debate performance last week, pointed out the omnipresent Clinton hypocrisy: “By Senator Clinton's own vetting standards, I don't think she would make it, since President Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground, which I think is a slightly more significant act.”

Clinton pardoned Weather Underground members Susan L. Rosenberg and Linda Evans. Police caught the pair of domestic terrorists in 1984, in possession of 740 pounds of explosives and a submachine gun. Rosenberg had been involved in the Brink's heist that left a policeman dead in Nanuet, a city in Clinton's adopted home state of New York.

Far from penitent, Rosenberg dedicated a poem to another cop-killer: “To Free Mumia Abu Jamal.” For her part, Evans has taken to organizing. FrontPage Magazine’s John Perazzo writes:

Evans still refers to her fellow Weathermen as “comrades,” and claims that all inmates in American prisons are victims of white racism, imperialism, and “political circumstance.” “The prison industrial complex,” she writes in one of her organizational screeds, “is an interweaving of private business and government interests [with] a monumental commitment to lock up a sizeable percentage of the population.” In March 2002 she helped organize a conference (held in Cuba) titled “Tear Down The Walls,” whose purpose was to make a case for the release of “political prisoners” who had been “incarcerated because of their involvement in political activities which challenged the unjust nature of the US socioeconomic system and its hegemonic policies around the world.” Chief among these “political prisoners” were Evans’ fellow Weather bomber Boudin, Symbionese Liberation Army member Kathy Soliah (aka Sara Jane Olson), and convicted cop-killers Mumia Abu Jamal and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown).

Among those who opposed the pardons, issued on the last day of the Clinton co-presidency, were Hillary’s future NY Senate colleague, Chuck Schumer, and U.S. Attorney in New York Mary Jo White. (White, a Clinton appointee, strongly objected to the Clinton administration’s erection of “The Wall” between intelligence agencies tracking terrorists, reportedly writing in a scathing memorandum years before 9/11: “It will cost lives.”)

Similarly, Bill Clinton pardoned members of the Puerto Rican Marxist terrorist organization FALN in order to bolster his wife's political fortunes. The FALN was responsible for 130 bombings in nine years, including a number within New York City and Chicago. The Justice Department opposed the pardons, as did FBI Director Louis Freeh. FBI Assistant Director Neil Gallagher said boldly, “They are terrorists, and they represent a threat to the United States.” Although Hillary denied any involvement in the decision, a NYC Councilman, Jose Rivera, had asked her to “speak to the president and ask him to consider granting executive clemency” to FALN members.

One can say a number of things about such a long and distinguished intellectual history of leftism, as well as her open lust for enough power to radically alter the American way of life. One cannot say it is moderate in any sense. Unlike Sen. Obama's histories with Wright or Ayers, Hillary Clinton's history of radicalism consists of autobiographical journaling, personal activism, and advocacy on behalf of convicted, murderous terrorists.

It should make one wonder whom she would pardon if she ever wields the pardon pen. Wonder and fear.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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