Western Goals Foundation
Interhemispheric Resource Center: GroupWatch Profiles | Published: January 02, 1989
Background: The Western Goals Foundation was a private domestic intelligence agency which was founded by former Congressman Larry McDonald in 1979. (8) Prior to its dissolution, it was a nonmembership, nonpartisan organization which conducted educational outreach in addition to its intelligence activities. According to Western Goals, the group's objective was to "rebuild and strengthen the political, economic, and social structure of the U.S. and Western Civilization so as to make any merger with the totalitarian world impossible."(11) As part of this effort, the group was formed in order to "fill the critical gap caused by the crippling of the FBI, the disabling of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) and the destruction of crucial government files."(8)
Though it has been said that Western Goals maintained its own extensive file systems on the leftwing, apparently that is not the case. Chip Berlet, of Political Research Associates and a long-time researcher of the U.S. extreme Right, says that Western Goals never had its own files. Instead it networked among other organizations and people who did maintain such files. Its own records did not contain dossiers on the Left; they simply indicated who to contact or where to look to get such information. (29)
Some observers--placing Western Goals in the context of a worldwide network of rightwing groups--have seen the group as performing a valuable intelligence function for other private organizations. Reporters Jon Lee Anderson and Scott Anderson, for instance, have said that groups like Western Goals allow "the ultra-right [to keep] tabs on its `subversive' domestic opposition..."(10) In Western Goals' case, this service was apparently not performed only for like-minded private groups. Elton Manzione quotes an East Coast police intelligence source as saying that Western Goals had a reputation of acting as a "clearinghouse" for some police departments whose intelligencecollecting functions were restricted by laws such as the Freedom of Information Act. Manzione noted that both the CIA and National Security Agency have received information from John Rees' Information Digest (see below). (8) McDonald headed Western Goals until he was killed in the Soviet downing of the Korean airliner, KAL-007, in 1983. After McDonald's death, Roy Cohn temporarily assumed the leadership of the organization. Cohn was best known as the legal counsel to the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the anticommunist Senate investigations of the 1950s. (8) He was succeeded by Linda Guell. (8,29) At the request of Barbara Newington, an important funder of rightwing causes, Carl "Spitz" Channell took over management and control of Western Goals in mid-1986. Channell was later identified as an important private player in the illegal contra-supply network coordinated by former National Security Council aide Oliver North. (27,28)
By the time Channell took over the group, Western Goals was already in its death throes. Within two months of McDonald's death, the organization had undergone an enormous internal split as a result of a power struggle between Guell and John Rees. Rees--who had written most of Western Goals publications--left the group. He had also conducted any political spying on the Left in which the organization was involved. Therefore, upon his departure, the group's intelligence-collection efforts ceased. (29)
Guell could not get Western Goals back on its feet, and it was just a shell of an organization by the middle of 1986. Channell apparently agreed to take over Western Goals in order to make use of its 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status in his contrasupport activities. The Iran-Contra scandal broke open shortly thereafter, though, and Western Goals apparently did not become a very important player in that network. Now the organization is closed down and its offices locked up for back rent. (29)
McDonald formed a foundation branch in West Germany in 1981. The organization, called the American-European Strategy Research Institute, was set up with a $131,982 injection from the U.S. office. That figure represented more than a third of Western Goals' operating budget at the time. (8)
Funding: According to one source, the organization's funding grew from $16,000 in 1979 to $421,000 in 1980. (8) Other sources do not indicate such rapid growth, however. Investigative reporters Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson say that Western Goal's budget increased over 500 percent from 1980 to 1981. (10) The organization said that 29 percent of its funding for those years came from foundations; another 14 percent came from corporations. Anderson and Anderson cite figures saying that by 1983, the group's operating budget equalled nearly a halfmillion dollars. (10) Contributors have included: Taylor Caldwell, Mrs. Walter Brennan, Nelson Bunker Hunt, Roger Milliken/Deering-Milliken Corp, and the Chance, Grede, and Ada Hearne foundations. (8) Corporate funders include Springdale and Cherokee Mills, Deering-Milliken Research Corporation, Knott's Berry Farm, and the Henry Regnery Company. (8) (Note: In an interview shortly before he died, McDonald acknowledged that Nelson Bunker Hunt had been one of Western Goals' "major contributors." He refused to confirm or deny other contributors, however. He did say that ten contributors gave $20,000 or more per year. )(8)
Activities: According to the organization itself, Western Goals attempted to coordinate the activities of conservative leaders in the United States and internationally. To do this, it conducted national and international cooperative leadership seminars. It also conducted seminars and other educational programs aimed at political, military, economic, and social leaders. In addition, Western Goals sponsored a syndicated radio program--carried on more than 70 U.S. stations--and aired documentaries. Its publications included a quarterly newsletter called the Report and a periodic Reports in Brief. The group has also published books, including Ally Betrayed: Nicaragua, The War Called Peace, and Red Tide Rising in the Carolinas. (10,11) One of its publications, D'Aubuisson on Democracy, boosted Roberto D'Aubuisson, a leader of El Salvador's ARENA party who was identified as an important figure in that country's death squads. (10) In Broken Seals, the group's first book, Western Goals contended that such groups as the Campaign for Political Rights, National Lawyers Guild, American Friends Service Committee, and the Center for National Security Studies were part of a Moscow-backed effort "to destroy the foreign and domestic intelligence capabilities of the United States."(25)
In addition to these educational activities, Western Goals was said to have collected intelligence on individuals and groups it deemed "subversive."(8,10) The organization's computerized files were thought to have contained information on public officials, activists, labor leaders, and entertainers. (8) Western Goals itself said they contained "thousands of documents relating to the internal security of our country and the protection of government and institutions from Communistcontrolled penetration and subversion."(8,10) While he was still in Congress, McDonald kept official files in his office, described by one staff member as "HUAC in exile." Those files-which had been ordered destroyed under Privacy Act provisions-were supposedly transferred by McDonald to Western Goals. (8) As noted above, however, Western Goals apparently did not maintain its own file system on the Left but acted as a networking connection between private spy file "dumps."(29)
In addition to these congressional intelligence records, Western Goals reportedly received police intelligence files from Jay Paul, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Western Goals was said to have received computer tapes from Paul, including one which listed some 5000 to 6000 groups and individuals. (8,10) In California, some 51 plaintiffs brought suit against Western Goals, alleging that the files which the group supposedly maintained had been obtained in violation of their right to privacy. (30) A grand jury investigating the case ordered Linda Guell to turn over the records which Western Goals had reportedly received from Paul. Western Goals appealed the order, but eventually turned over the files after negotiating immunity from prosecution. (10) Nonetheless, both John Rees and Jay Paul have said that many files from the LAPD which were supposed to have been destroyed ended up at Western Goals. (8) In addition to the files which Western Goals received from the LAPD's Public Disorder Intelligence Division, reporter David Lindorff (The Nation, May 5, 1984) refers to courtroom testimony that suggests Western Goals also got information from corporations like Exxon and Security Pacific Bank. (10) In its heyday, Western Goals would share its information for a fee of $150. Requesters were told to submit that fee, plus the social security numbers on the targeted individuals. In exchange, they could receive dossiers on any four individuals. (8)
The Nicaraguan contras also benefited from Western Goals.
The group advertised in the Washington Times and the newsletter of the Council for Inter-American Security to raise money for contra support. It also sent humanitarian aid such as clothing and medicines directly to the contras. (9,23,24)
A Spring l984 Western Goals report had a cover story which praised Salvadoran rightist Roberto D'Aubuisson. (6) Also in l984, the Western Goals Endowment Fund and several other rightwing groups co-sponsored a dinner to honor D'Aubuisson. They presented him with a plaque thanking him for his "continuing efforts for freedom in the face of communist aggression which is an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere."(7)
Government Connections: A diagram on a letter found in Oliver North's safe linked Linda Guell's name to North's intermediary with the contras, Robert Owen. The word "money" was written over Guell's name (for more, see Private Connections). (3,20)
Thomas Moorer was on the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Richard Nixon. (8) Louise Rees is a former member of the House Internal Security Committee. She was also a member of Larry McDonald's staff in the House of Representatives. (8) John Rees published Information Digest through the New York corporation, National Goals, Inc. According to a 1976 investigation by the New York Assembly's Office of Legislative Oversight, Information Digest was supplying information to the FBI, CIA, and the National Security Agency. (8) Taylor Caldwell served from 1924 to 1931 as Secretary of the Board of Special Inquiry of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. This board was responsible for attempting to deport suspected communists. (8) Dan Smoot is a former agent with the FBI. (8) Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham has written pamphlets for Western Goals. Graham is former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. (8) Sherman Unkefer served as an adviser to Chile's regime under Augusto Pinochet. Unkefer reportedly worked closely with Chile's secret police organization, DINA. (8) Dr. Hans Sennholz was a decorated pilot in the Luftwaffe, Adolf Hitler's elite air corps. (8)
The following is a brief summary of John Singlaub's military and intelligence activities. Singlaub was an officer in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. He became CIA deputy chief in South Korea during the Korean War and served for two years in Vietnam during the 1960s. At that time, he was commander of the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force, known as MACSOG. In that role, he was one of the commanders of Operation Phoenix, although he denies having had a part in that program's infamous assassination and counterterror aspects. In 1978, as chief of staff of the United Nations Command in South Korea, he publicly condemned the decision of President Jimmy Carter to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country. He was then forced to retire. (8,9,10) In 1984, Singlaub headed a Pentagon panel called to make recommendations on conducting military activities in Central America. The panel's report urged the U.S. to emphasize nonconventional, counterinsurgency warfare strategies. (9,10) Under the Reagan administration, Singlaub received assistance and guidance from White House and National Security Council (NSC) officials for his "private" contra-supply activities. He identified former NSC aide Oliver North as his liaison to the White House. (10,18)
Private Connections: The German affiliate is Western Goals Europe E. V. (5) This German branch is also known as the AmericanEuropean Strategy Institute. It acknowledges working with Reinhard Gehlen, a former Nazi who has been honored by the elite lay Catholic organization, the Knights of Malta (SMOM). (8) SMOM gave its highest award of honor, the Gran Croci Al Merito Conplacca, to Gehlen in l948. Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was awarded the honor because of his efforts in the "crusade against godless Communism." Gehlen headed Adolf Hitler's spy operations against the Soviet Union during World War II. After the war, he and his spy apparatus--staffed mostly by former Nazis--were recruited by the CIA. He became the first director of the BND, West Germany's intelligence agency. (19,26)
According to investigative reporter Elton Manzione, J. Peter Grace was instrumental in getting John Rees into Western Goals. Grace is chairman of the Knights of Malta in the United States. (19) Grace, head of the W. R. Grace Co. , has (or had) Western Goals funder Roger Milliken on his board of directors. (8)
A diagram found in Oliver North's safe showed Linda Guell's name written above the words "Western Goals." The note on the diagram said that Guell worked with CAUSA (a political arm of the Unification Church) and its head, Bo Hi Pak, and made trips to Germany and South Korea. The word "money" was written over Guell's name, with an arrow pointing to Rob Owen, North's courier to the contras. Arrows were also drawn from Owen's name to Guell's and from Andy Messing--a private contra supporter and head of the National Defense Council Foundation--to Western Goals. The diagram was drawn at the bottom of a letter from Fawn Hall to "Phil [Mabry] and Randy," dated April 18, 1985. (4,20) Guell is now working with John Singlaub at the Singlaub Freedom Foundation. (29)
Larry McDonald, John Rees, and Sherman Unkefer were members of the John Birch Society. (8) Besides supplying intelligence to government agencies, John Rees provided information to the Wackenhut Agency, a private security company. (8) John Rees also worked with the Church League of America, another private intelligence collection group. (25)
During the 1950s, Dan Smoot worked for Facts Forum, a political operation of oil magnate H. L. Hunt. He left Facts Forum in 1955 to set up his own Dan Smoot Report. In that capacity, he worked with rightwing figures such as Merwin K. Hart, Gerald L. K. Smith, and Bryant Bowles. (8)
Helen White, a one-time member of the advisory board of Western Goals and M. Stanton Evans, a radio broadcaster for the group, were members of the Angola "country committee" set up by the Council for the Defense of Freedom in the early 1980s. (10)
Carl Channell has founded and headed a number of private politically oriented organizations. These include the American Conservative Trust, American Conservative Trust State Election Fund, National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty (NEPL), Sentinel, Anti-Terrorism American Committee, Channell Corporation, American Conservative Foundation, Grow Washington, and Hill Potomac. (28,31) From 1976 to 1982, he worked for the National Conservative Political Action Committee. (31) He helped organize a pro-contra fundraising dinner sponsored by the Nicaraguan Refugee Fund in 1985. (27,31) NEPL became an important fundraising link in the contra-supply network supervised by Oliver North during the period of Boland Amendment restrictions on U.S. contra support. As part of these efforts, NEPL raised funds used to purchase arms for the contras. (27,31)
Lt. Gen. Graham (see Govt Connections) is director of the defense lobby High Frontier. (9,14) He is also a member of the World Anti-Communist League--an organization which until recently was headed by John Singlaub. Graham is a former member of the advisory board of CAUSA USA, the political arm of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. (9,10,12,13)
As of 1983, Edward Teller was a member of the board of directors of the Committee on the Present Danger, an anticommunist organization which advocated strict containment policies vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. Other prominent members of the committee included Ronald Reagan, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and a number of individuals chosen for Reagan's arms control negotiating teams. Altogether some 50 members of the Committee were appointed to positions in the Reagan administration during his first term. (21)
John Singlaub, Daniel Graham, and Mildred Jefferson, are members of the national policy board of the American Freedom Coalition, a political organization with extensive ties to the Unification Church. (14,15,16,17) Singlaub, Graham, and Jefferson are/were members of the board of governors of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive policy-oriented umbrella organization for the rightwing in the United States. Other
Western Goals members who are/were on the Council's board of governors include: Sherman Unkefer, Hans Sennholz, and Robert Stoddard. The group's financial backer Nelson Bunker Hunt is on CNP's board too, as was Larry McDonald. (22)
Connections of Funders: The Chance Foundation was set up by F. Gano Chance, a member of the John Birch Society Executive Council. Both the Grede and Ada Hearne foundations were created by members of the Birch Society as well. (8) Roger Milliken, an industrialist and union-buster, is also a member of the Birch Society. (8)
Misc: When Thomas Moorer was on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he had Naval Intelligence agents tap Henry Kissinger's phone and remove documents from Nixon's desk. (8) John and Louise Rees infiltrated the Washington DC left community during the early 1970s. They were known by the names John Seeley and Sheila O'Conner. Between the two, they joined the National Lawyer's Guild, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They formed a group called the "Red House," with rent for the organization paid by the Washington DC police. (8) Edward Teller created the H-bomb. (8) Sidney Korshak and Ruby Kolod, both reputed figures in organized crime, provided funds to Larry McDonald's political campaign. (8) McDonald once referred to Martin Luther King, Jr. as a man "wedded to violence."(10) Because the plane McDonald was flying on was shot down by a Soviet fighter, his supporters have described him as "the first victim of World War Three."(10)
Comments:U.S. Address: l33l Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 376-S,
Washington DC 20004 (202-662-8702).
Principals: The following individuals were associated with the organization at some point prior to its collapse: Carl Channell (dir). (2,27) Linda Catoe Guell (exec dir). (3,8) Former Advisory Board Members: Hon. Jean Ashbrook, Mrs. Walter Brennan, Taylor Caldwell, Roy M. Cohn (deceased), Rep. Philip M. Crane, Gen. Raymond G. Davis, Henry Hazlitt, Mildred F. Jefferson, Anthony Kubek, Rep. Bob Livingston, Harold P. McDonald Jr. , Roger Milliken, Adm. Thomas Moorer, E. A. Morris, Vice Adm. Lloyd M. Mustin, Gen. George S. Patton, Hans Sennholz, Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, Dan Smoot, Robert Stoddard, Rep. Bob Stump, Sen. Steve Symms, Helen Marie Taylor, Dr. Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner. (8) Sherman Unkefer. (8) John and Louise Rees. (8) Gen. Lewis Walt, Helen White. (10)
Sources:1. Contra Watch, April, 1987.
2. Hosenball, The New Republic, May 11, 1987.
3. Edsall, Washington Post, Feb 27, 1987.
4. In These Times, April 8-14, 1987.
5. Letter from Sean Steinbach and Dominik Diehl, May 22, 1987.
6. Fred Clarkson,"Behind the Supply Lines," Covert Action Information Bulletin, #25, Winter l986.
7. Joanne Omang,"D'Aubuisson Honored by Conservatives at Capitol Hill Dinner," Washington Post, Dec 5, l984.
8. Elton Manzione,"The Private Spy Agency," The National Reporter, Summer 1985.
9. The New Right Humanitarians, the Resource Center, 1986.
10. Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co. , 1986).
11. Encyclopedia of Associations, 1989.
12. Phone conversation with natl CAUSA office, Sep 9, 1988.
13. CAUSA USA Report, Sep 1986.
14. American Freedom Coalition,"Emergency Project to Support Colonel North's Freedom Fight in Central America," flyer, undated but circa Fall 1987.
15. Phone conversations with Daniel Junas, Feb 5, 1988 and May 6, 1988.
16. Phone conversation with Wes McCune, Group Research Inc. , Sep 9, 1988.
17. Kim A. Lawton,"Unification Church Ties Haunt New Coalition," Christianity Today, Feb 5, 1988.
18. CBS 60 Minutes,"Singlaub," Oct 5, 1986.
19. Martin A. Lee,"Who Are the Knights of Malta?" National Catholic Reporter, Oct 11, 1983.
20. John Tower, Edmund Muskie, and Brent Scowcroft, The Tower Commission Report (New York, NY: Bantam Books and Times Books, 1987).
21. Jerry W. Sanders, Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee on the Present Danger and the Politics of Containment (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1983).
22. Council for National Policy, Officers list, 1982-1983.
23. Letter from Karen Branan, Mar 4, 1986.
24. Jaqueline Sharkey,"Disturbing the Peace," Common Cause Magazine, Sep-Oct 1985.
25. Chip Berlet,"Private Spies," Shmate: A Journal of Progressive Jewish Thought, Issue #11-12, Summer 1985.
26. Francoise Hervet,"The Sovereign Military Order of Malta," Covert Action Information Bulletin, #25, Winter 1986.
27. Deposition of Carl Channell to U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, Sep 1, 1987, in Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, Appendix B: Volume 4, Depositions (Washington DC : U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran and U.S. Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, 1988).
28. Group Research Report, Vol. 25, #10, Dec 1986.
29. Conversation with Chip Berlet, Political Research Associates, Mar 2, 1989.
30. Group Research Report, Vol. 26, #2, Feb 1987.
31. Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair (Washington DC : U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran and U.S. Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, 1988).
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